|photo: Julie Markes|
Last Sunday, a day after Lois became Bat Mitzvah, we took our turn as a family to scribe in our new Torah, being written by the wonderful Soferet Linda Coppelson. My sisters and brother, two brothers-in-law, and three dear friends were also present to give honor to my mom's memory. I'll admit to having cried much of the morning, overwhelmed at times by the power of writing letters on parchment as part of chain of tradition that extends back in time nearly 3500 years in the life of our people. The last time I scribed in a new Torah was a month before ordination as a rabbi. My teacher Rabbi Stanley Dreyfus was working on an anniversary Torah for Temple Emanuel in Manhattan and he had invited a few of us to scribe a letter in honor of our becoming rabbis.
After the scribing, we packed up the car with my family's luggage and got them off to the airport. Slightly dented Packers fans (from a season shortened by a poor playoff performance) they were on early flights so they could make it home to watch the Super Bowl. Mom made a brisket for the occasion each year.
While driving out to Laguardia, I felt the kindness of Torah, weaving in and out of traffic, dodging more aggressive cars, not allowing agitation at brushes with danger, feeling what it meant be thrown so quickly from the sublime Eternal Torah to the ridiculous Flatbush Avenue and BQE. It was still with me last night, driving down Flatbush from Marine Park and Floyd Bennett Field. Neighbors in a rush on a Saturday night, hair and nail salons lit up, chicken joints wafting dinner aromas, cars and vans doing U-turns that were Olympian in daring and execution. Oncoming headlights refracted through ice on the windshield seemed to spell Hebrew letters in the darkness of night. The Clash was on the car radio. Everything was perfect. City Planners ought to consider a campaign to calm drivers.
Dates still remain this spring for you to scribe in our new Torah. Celebrating 150 years in Brooklyn, we are so proud that this will be the first Torah in the history of New York City written entirely by a female scribe. Don't miss this special opportunity to be a part of history!
And just think: If everyone scribed in Torah, traffic would be a piece of cake.