Saturday, June 28, 2008

Empathy

Cheri, in a comment to an earlier post, spoke of her sadness at leaving leaving the home she loves, along with its coyotes and wildebeests.

I've thought of this several times, each time feeling a profound sadness, the intensity of which seems somewhat stronger than one might normally expect when ruminating on the domestic arrangements of a person one hasn't met in person.

It isn't an abnormal response. I, too, love my home. We have no beasties here -- at least not the wild kind -- but my neighborhood has it's own interesting creatures. (Have I mentioned that the next President of the United States lives on the corner?)

I can't imagine having to leave my home. I can't imagine having to leave my friends. I can't imagine having to leave my history here. It would be heartbreaking.

On further reflection, though, I CAN imagine. I can.

Our synagogue -- which, along with President Obama, is also on the corner -- has been a central place in our lives. We bought our home because it was 200 ft. from the synagogue. Back in the day, we were there three and four days a week. It was the hub of our religious and social lives. We made many, many friends there, ad we learned and laughed and cried and grew there. I can still remember when Norbert would call out "My Temple!" ever time we drove past it. (Which, given its proximity, was often.) We were blessed with Rabbis who became like family to us.

Both Rabbis were treated badly by a small but powerful clique within the synagogue. These spiteful, rigid, soulless people did everything they could to destroy our Rabbis, one after another. After six years, the second of our Rabbi's has left the synagogue. And so have we. I am profoundly sad.

So Cheri, please accept my condolences at having to leave a place you love. I understand. I wish there was something I could say or do to make the sadness go away.

The only thing I CAN say it that, in times of sadness, I always find myself looking to the psalms for solace. "Tears may tarry for the night, but joy commeth in the morning."

3 comments:

Leslie said...

Loosing your religious home hurts -- I've had it happen twice. I guess this is why the power really lives in our hearts and minds, so still stay in communication even without all the trappings. You can still have Seder and Shabbat and will probably be able to gather a minyan of other disaffecteds if (heaven forbid) the need arises.

What I have found is a sadness over the loss of community, the regularity of it, the feeling of acceptance that comes from family. Perhaps there is another Temple nearby or you could start one of your own?

Myfanwy said...

*shaking my head* What is it with some people? They are so busy trying to be in control they forget WHY they are there. Pray for them they are lost in their own little narrow world. There is a welcoming community out there who will embrace your family. My favourite..."I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help."

Cheri said...

I truly hope that you can find a more welcoming synagogue, it is heartbreaking when you do not feel comfortable in your place of worship (which, in my opinion, should feel like family).

My husband was actually offered a job here and so we have the opportunity to remain in our home near our friends, in the home we designed and built ourselves 16 years ago. I can not begin to tell you of what a relief it is to get to stay. So we're still here against the Rocky Mountains with the coyotes and bears and the voles which seem to be determined to eat my fruit trees!

Thank you Aiden for your kind thoughts and words, they mean a lot to me. So please rejoice with me and my family and if you ever decide to visit Colorado perhaps we can meet in person.