Having recovered, more or less, from holiday craziness, I've signed up to read Torah again in a few weeks. I enjoyed the month-long break with nothing to study, was able to catch up on work and go to the gym a little more often, but woke up one day and realized... I had nothing to study! I had no reason to to get up a half hour earlier than usual and sing, or put off calling a client in order to run to the copy shop and Xerox a few pages of the tikkun, or wait for that moment of small triumph when, for the first time after endless repetition, I could to read a tricky verse from the left side of the page. I had no Shabbat mornings on the calendar when I knew my hands would break out into a cold sweat as I walked up to the bima but stop shaking once words in the scroll pulled me into their curves and angles, as if each stroke had reached out in an embrace.
So in a few weeks I'll be chanting a short section of Parashat Vayetze, when Jacob first meets Rachel:
Vayishak Ya'akov le-Rachel vayisa et-kolo vayevk.
Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud.
I break out into a big smile whenever I practice this line. I can see them standing by the well astonished at each other's beauty, as if the sun had blinded them by bursting, without warning, over the crest of a hill.