Sunday, February 13, 2005

10. Holidays

My Conservative boyfriend and I went to High Holiday services each year at our local synagogue, a festival of blue hair and walkers. He also sort of kept kosher and ignored Shabbat, but sat through every minute of every Rosh Hashonah and Yom Kippur service as penance while I overslept on purpose and hated myself. We were always in rows NNQ or ZZ, which I figured were the initials of those Israelites way in the back at Sinai. ("What did he say? Honor thy who?"). One year the man in front of us died of a heart attack during the Amidah, the standing prayer that he probably shouldn't have been standing for. It was horrible, but not really a surprise. The sermon never changed: the mortgage, the mortgage (pronouced "muggage"), we need your money. Never any mention of our souls. (Alas, the words fell on deaf ears; the synagogue disappeared a few years after I moved away, along with its long-empty Hebrew school and grand, gold mosaic tree in the lobby honoring the scores of the deceased who did pay the muggage for a few decades.)

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