Thursday, May 12, 2011

The last few months I have not exactly been on official speaking terms with God.  Oh sure I had some choice words for him, and I made all my brachot diligently or Channah might catch on (she notices everything) but for the most part picking up a siddur or a tehillim was so far out of the question someone might as well have offered me a Book of Mormon.

In the last few weeks though I have found myself in a position a few times where I said a piece or two of tehillim.  At the kotel with Channah. At Meron at the kever of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.  While I stood silently and listened to the sirens on Yom Hashoa and Yom HaZikaron.  I have a full set on my phone so when needed I could pull up whatever was appropriate and read it with no emotion and close the program until the next time I need to fake religiosity again.

The only other tefilah I have offered came in the Atime paackage for pregnancy loss.  A small card with tefillat Channah on it that I now keep in my wallet.  There is something comforting about repeating it knowing that my light in my life was name for the woman who originally spoke those words so long ago.  I have been saying it with Channah on our trips to the kotel and also when we were in Meron.

Tonight, for the first time in months, I have pulled my tehillim off the shelf to do something with it other than than throw it at a wall.  We have lots of copies of Tehillim.  We have a broken up set.  A couple of Artscrolls with translation, transliteration.  A tiny one we picked up somewhere for giving tzedakah.  The one on my phone.  Channah even got one at school at part of her mesibat siddur.

But of all the tehillim we have, 3 are special.  They were given to us by special friends right before we made aliya.  We each got one, with an inscription just for us.  Jason's is a beautiful leather bound manly one.  Channahs is small and light and obviously meant for small hands.  My tehillim book is special to me.  It is off white with sefer tehillim written across the front in gold, and an inscription wishing me happiness and peace.

The friends who gave them to us have moved on.  One is no longer with us, and the other has been unwell for a long time now.  But tonight, for the first time I have pulled their gift off the shelf.  It is not just any Tehillim.  It is one that is filled with love and warm wishes from people who truly care for Jason's family, and once I married in for me as well.  For the first time, even looking at the sefer is bringing me comfort.

I think the time has come for me to resume some sort of regular communication with God.  I am not really ready for prayer- for asking for things and for thinking him for what he has sent me.  But I think I am ready to reread the words of David Hamelech- the only figure in all of Tanach we see loosing a baby and sad about the loss.  The only figure who shows human emotion at sickness and loss of a child.

We all know I write with much more power than I speak.  I have been getting notes from people from around the world that my writing has been helping them deal with issues of their own be it still birth, miscarriage, disease, divorce or other disasters that life throws at us.  Maybe it is time that I turn to the blog David Hamelech wrote so long ago, to see if I can find my strength there.  David Hamelech, the king known for his difficult reign and remembered for his mistakes, was able to connect to God through his writings, maybe it is time I tried reading what he had to say.  By drawing on his words, and on the love and strength of the family who gave me the book, maybe I will be able to start fixing my broken connection.

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