Sunday, November 06, 2005

Another Torah Reading

Lynn and I met for lunch today to talk about our plans to chant the Torah together next summer. We actually spent a lot more time getting to know one another than perusing the Torah portion (Pinchas). Lunch was in a small Turkish restaurant on Capitol Hill, open to the beautiful fall day. (The waiters seemed very curious about the fact that I was reading Hebrew while I sipped my wine and waited for Lynn to arrive.)

It turns out that we are very close to the same age. She however has step-grandchildren, whereas my children don’t even have permanent partners at this point in their lives. Lynn loves to travel. She has signed up for the next Micah Israel trip. By then we can be practicing our Torah readings together. She has also been to Hawaii several times, with plans to go again at the end of next year.

She mentioned that she is going to speak about her mother during a service in June next year, marking the 40th anniversary of her mother’s death. This of course conjured up my own feelings of unfinished grief over the deaths of my parents. Lynn has done a lot of grief counseling in her role as a psychotherapist. She was very supportive of my ongoing efforts to finally recognize my parents’ death in a significant way. This may require a real letting go that I haven’t been able to achieve to date. It is one of the major things that Kathryn and I are working on together.

I always have this feeling that new acquaintances are not accidental – that someone, something is putting people together at just the right time. This may well be the case for Lynn and me. We’ll undoubtedly spend a lot of time agonizing over the Torah trope this next year, but I think we will also spend time talking about significant things like the influence of our parents, while they were alive and perhaps more importantly after their deaths.

We did get around to dividing up the portion. She will do the part about the daughters of Zelophehad, who actually obtained the right to own property. I will do the following part where God breaks the news to Moses that he will not get to go into the promised land. We also split up the Haftarah portion, concerning Elijah. Each of us will plan to give a 5-minute explanation of the Torah portion.

I am really looking forward to this new project.

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