Yom Kippur, 1965, I was a Navy medical officer stationed aboard a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam.
Growing up the child of a Jew-by-choice, everything about Judaism was a choice for us. For my mother, Judaism was a gift. She felt very proud to count herself among the Jewish people. She felt blessed to have the opportunity to do Jewish things.
There are pages
even in my new machzor
that I imagine stuck together,
remnants of honey from my daughter’s sticky fingers,
of words and stories
one atop the other
One of my most precious possessions is a copy of the Talmudic tractate Kiddushin printed in Munich in 1946 on presses once used for Nazi propaganda.
“On Rosh HaShanah, the year’s decree is written, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed, who will live and who will die…”
Nothing is more intimidating than leaving your comfort zone, facing a mix of new people, routines, and cultures – especially when you're doing it alone. I’ll never forgot how it felt when I left for college, a New York girl heading to school in the Midwest.