Friday, November 30, 2012

How quickly I forget

I don't feel I have much more to say, so I'll be updating the blog only occasionally. In any event, this morning I did get to shul. This is more than I used to do before my kaddish year. I always daven (pray) every morning and put on tephilin, but before my mother died, I prayed at home and did so quickly (15-20 minutes). Davening at home allows me an extra half hour of sleep, which is a good thing. Since I've finished saying kaddish, I've gone to shul in the morning about two to three times a week. I have, however, resorted to my "old" ways, coming in a few minutes after davening begins rather than, as during my kaddish year, five minutes before the start of prayers. (See

Today as I approached the shul, I saw a woman I know who is saying kaddish running to enter. I told her, "don't worry." She said, "I know, I have an extra two minutes." What she meant is that she knew she had another minute or two while people were reciting the sacrifices section and the "Rabbi Yishamel Omer (Rabbi Yishmael says)" that precedes the first kaddish of the day, the Kaddish D'rabanan. Sure enough, when I entered, that's what people were doing and the kaddish began about a minute thereafter. What I meant when I said "don't worry" is that it's okay to miss a kaddish. Why run for a kaddish. It's not the end of the world if you miss a kaddish, especially the Kaddish D'rabanan after the reading about sacrifices.

But then again, that's how I feel now. When I was saying kaddish, I also used to get anxious about getting to shul on time. Frankly, making sure I didn't miss kaddish created a lot tension and anxiety. Even though I'm less than two months removed from that time, it's difficult for me to relate to these feelings. I can't really answer this question honestly: why exactly did I take on the kaddish obligation so seriously and obsessively?

I don't know how I'll behave the next time I have to say kaddish, which, God willing, will not happen for many many years, may my father, who is doing so much better, live to 120. But if I had to bet on my own behavior, I'd put money on my doing pretty much exactly what I did for my mother.

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