The News Tribune logo

Sunday, September 20, 2009

L'Shana Tova to my Jewish Brothers and Sisters

Took this pic Friday morning...and thought about the wonderful Northern Exposure episode where Joel goes through his repentance and greets the dawn of a new year, eating an apple. I tried to find it on yooztoobie, to no avail.

I love that time is taken to reflect on the year...that it is deeper as both end and beginning. Humans can choose whatever markers to measure time, but in the rush of daily living how often do we stop to truly reflect the journey...and how we have carried ourselves along the road?

My first experience of America was driving over the Ambassador Bridge from Windsor, Ontario to Detroit (...don't forget the Motor City...all you need is music...sweet music....) and my father's 'adopted' parents in Oak Park. During WWII English pilots came over to America to do some training and my father was on his way to the Naval Airbase at Pensacola. First stop was Detroit. There they were met by families who took them home for dinner and into their hearts. Molly and Irving Pitzak took my father in.

In 1965, after moving to Canada, we were all welcomed into this large, Orthodox Jewish family. Their roots were in Russia and Poland and their branches were All-American. It was a strange and exotic New World to me and I wanted to know the stories. Stories came aplenty...and my hand was allowed to caress the numbers tattooed on if a caress could alter the if a caress could make me understand what it took for them to be in this New World and the good life.

It all seemed so alien to me, until the first Friday night, when Molly covered her head and lit the candles. The feeling was the same as when Tai (my Chinese Buddhist Amah in Malaya) lit her joss sticks in the early dawn...that peace and inner connection, the intent of love within something greater than all of us...the blessing of all.

So I say, "L'Shana Tova...Happy New Year" and wish everyone the time for reflection and new beginnings.


Lorraine Hart said...

*giggle*...just noticed that this post number is the "one after 909"...still a Beatle fan after all these years.

Stephanie Frieze said...

Lovely picture and story, Lorraine! Honoring our similarities and differences is key in getting along.

JosephMcG said...

thanks for sharing those wondeful moments... I find myself so often listening to members of the Jewish community with most profound respect...

Shelli said...

Molly and Irving, from Oak Park Michigan, were my great aunt and uncle. I would love to hear from you.

Billy Fershtman C/0 said...

I remember Jim and Bunny very well. I have thought about them through the years and also your brother who played drums with members of The Guess Who Band from your hometown area in Canada.