This week has been a good one! I think I’ve enjoyed it because I felt productive straight out the gate. By Monday night I had gotten the house fully back in order after our marathon party and managed to get some work done. Tuesday was an exciting day because I got out and voted and then went to a Rangers game – my first in a while. With the recent synagogue shooting (more on that below), there was a bit of sadness in the air. This week, however, was all about turning things around.
After the devastating shooting at a synagogue on the 27th, it felt very important to go to services on Friday. In fact, a movement took shape called #ShowUpForShabbat. Jourdan and I decided to go to Friday night services where I was happy to see we weren’t needed to make a minyan. Because Friday was within seven days of the shooting, we made it during the period of shiva, or mourning. Traditionally, only the immediate family sits shiva; however, I recall something the rabbi said. He noted that a hallmark of the Jewish faith is that we come together at momentous occasions. We celebrate together and we mourn together. As soon as he said it, I realized just how true it was. One of the things I love so much about my faith is the team mentality of it all. Did you know a prayer service only takes place when there are at least 10 people there? It underscores the camaraderie of the religion. We rejoice in each others’ successes – when one of us is happy, we’re all happy. And when one of us is sad, we rally around them (usually with casseroles). This quality was evident at services on Friday, where I saw a packed house – the amount of attendees at this one temple on a Friday night rivaled the entire Jewish population of Savannah. It was incredible.
Last week, in the wake of the shooting, I asked my [primarily not Jewish] Instagram followers if they had armed security at church (as the President advised temples, post-shooting, as a way to prevent this…vs, you know, gun control). The overall response was “no, of course not, that’s crazy”. As a follow up, I explained to my followers that armed security has been the norm for me whenever I want to worship (shoutout to Wanda!). That it’s a constant reminder that there are lots of people who want to harm the Jewish people – me – simply for our faith. That I’m a little scared every time I try to do something as kind-hearted as pray. Well, when I went to services on Friday, not only was there armed security, but I also had to walk through a metal detector. This is my reality. I don’t love it, and I am envious of my non-Jewish friends who just don’t understand it. Even my husband, who is Catholic, doesn’t get this feeling – and I can’t blame him. I wish this fear was something I couldn’t fathom. BUT something else the rabbi said on Friday is that the Jewish people are not strangers to people trying to defeat them. And, as is our nature, we will come together to survive. There was such a sense of strength and pride on Friday. Also, this was my first time going to a service with music – it was fun! I mean, there was a full band! In a time of sadness, it was lovely to have some fun music accompanying the prayer.
Our new housey is at a great location on the marathon route. We always love celebrating marathon day – New York is always so alive that first Sunday in November – and this year we had extra reason to celebrate. Karina and my sister in law, Amanda, we’re both running so we decided to throw a little party. We grabbed bagels from our local spot, cooked up a few other brunch dishes, and, of course, set up a mimosa and Bloody Mary bar. This was the first time I’ve ever really gotten to see one of our runners as they’ve passed us, and I loved getting to grab a hug from Karina as she crossed the 22 mile mark.
I haven’t been to a Rangers game in a few years, which is a shame because it’s the one New York team I’ve really rallied around since moving here. I finally rectified that on Tuesday when I caught a game at MSG. And what a game! This is not the Rangers’ best season, but they managed to beat the Canadiens 5-3.