Over the past week, I had three friends attend the funeral of a parent, all three becoming new members of the “Orphan Club.”
“They” say things happen in threes. Scary enough, I’ve found this to be true. As the coordinator of shiva meals for my synagogue since autumn, there have been three families at any given time sitting shiva at the same time. It started with my husband losing his mother in 2014. As shiva came to an end, a close friend’s father past. At the end of his shiva, another close friend lost his father. Since then, when someone in the community loses a family member, I know there will be two more on the way. It’s a gloomy point of view on such a somber topic, but it’s all about perspective…
“One symbolizes unity, agreement, simplicity. When something exists alone, nothing disturbs it. It remains completely at peace, without regard for anything else.”
“Two symbolizes duality, tension and complexity.”
“The number three symbolizes a harmony that includes and synthesizes two opposites. The unity symbolized by the number three isn’t accomplished by getting rid of number two, the entity that caused the discord, and reverting to the unity symbolized by number one. Rather, three merges the two to create a new entity, one that harmoniously includes both opposites.”
On the Meaning of Three – Eliezer Posner
In our class last week, the rabbi talked about perspective or “point of view” – what one sees is not what another sees. He used the example of how we conduct ourselves during the Rosh Hashanah service when blowing the shofar (ram’s horn). Jews are commanded to hear a certain number of blasts from the shofar in a specific order. The shofar must also be blown accurately. So that the shofar blower knows he is precise and accurate, a decision was made years back that the rabbi would hit the shulchan (table) one time if the blower needed to repeat one note and two times if he needed to repeat the entire line.
I’ve witnessed this hitting of the table for seven years, but I thought the hitting was to quiet the congregation because it must be completely quiet when the shofar is sounded. Oftentimes, people will talk during the shofar service, so I figured it was the only way for the rabbi to shush the audience. Then the rabbi told us how another congregant yelled at him for “embarrassing” the shofar player, thinking he was pounding on the table as a form of punishment toward the blower…
perspective: /pərˈspektiv/ noun – a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
I rode 28.5 miles last Sunday, returning home in throbbing pain and reminded myself that the cancer ride will be twice that…ugh…But I keep reminding myself that I road 45 miles of New York City roads and highways in the pouring rain with 40-degree temperatures. I’ve cycled the BQE for crying out loud! Riding to the beach should be a cake walk…right…?
And besides, I found a pretty pink tractor and a few asses along the way…and the other day I road an hour straight without stopping…
“I never miss a beat, I’m lightning on my feet
And that’s what they don’t see, that’s what they don’t see
I’m dancing on my own, I make the moves up as I go
And that’s what they don’t know, that’s what they don’t know”
Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
“I had run for 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours.” – Forrest Gump