As I sit here eating my first bagel of liberation (yum), I realize this is also the first morning in about a month that I didn't wake up and immediately begin to practice upcoming Torah or haftarah. Instead I am humming snatches of "Betzeit Yisrael" (from Hallel and the Haggadah) as sung with a melody from an Italian community. Pesah is over and I should move on to new tunes--but the old ones still taste so good.
Although I love to chant, sometimes--just sometimes--I don't always want to practice. But that wasn't the case these past weeks, when the melody and very breaths required to make those sounds seemed to sustain me from day to long day. I miss this. I will surely have more to learn soon and breaks, like the eight-day one preceding the eating of this bagel, are good even if only to remind you of what you're missing.