Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mourners converse about how nonmourners behave

Today after Sabbath services, a fellow asked to speak to me privately.  He asked me how I felt about people putting away their tallises (prayer shawls) at the end of the service while I was reciting the kaddish.  He confided that when he was saying kaddish for his parents, both of whom died within a relatively short period of time, he felt such behavior was disrespectful to him, and, by extension, to his parents.  I had to think about this.  I know that before my mother died, I was careful not to make noise putting away my tephilin while others were reciting kaddish.  I knew inside I should wait until kaddish had concluded before "packing up" my tallis and tephilin, but I often succomed to the urge to get on my way.  After a few moments, I responded that my focus on saying kaddish truly made me unaware of what others were doing at the time.  I also reflected on the natural tendency to jump the gun whenever an activity is winding down.  Of course, our behavior in shul, a place of striving for holiness and sanctity, should be different than during our chol (nonsactified) activity.  But, in truth, it is seldom so.

It was good to have a serious conversation about mourning and kaddish with a former mourner.  I only know that this year of mourning is changing me in some indelible way.  I hope to relate to future mourners the way I know I should.

No comments:

Post a Comment