Monday, January 18th, 2010

On a personal note:  some of you know that I am scheduled for gastric bypass surgery February 8.  It represents a big change in my life that I’m sure I’ll be processing (and likely blogging) for some time to come.  This is a decision that has been hard.  It has been a long time coming.  And I’m fairly confident that I’m making the right (or anyway, a right) decision.  Because it seemed to me I had a couple of arguably good options (having or not having the surgery).  That’s part of why it was a hard decision. (more…)

So here are my newsletter thoughts for February:

One of the blogs I follow (Midlife Bat Mitzvah) is written by Ilana DeBare and is (largely) an account of her preparation for her Bat Mitzvah.  In her most recent entry (“Let the Chanting Begin”) she talks about her preparation with her cantor.  The cantor had her do a dry run on some of the chants.  And afterwards, she commented, “That’s pretty good.”

 Ilana responded that she wanted to know these prayers well enough that if she were shipwrecked on a desert island, she could lead the service on her own.  The cantor nodded and seemed amused.  Ilana admits, however, that what she really had in mind had to do with concentration camps, and “those stories of random anybody Jews leading a Passover or a Shabbat service in the bleak, dehumanizing barracks of an Auschwitz.” (more…)