Between the Pages

Posted on by Rabbi Barbara Symons

Have you ever read People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks? It is one of my favorite books. Through clues, it traces the Sarajevo Haggadah through its history and owners. I highly recommend it.

I thought of it tonight, as I closed my Gates of Repentance for the last time as Yom Kippur drew to a close. I had thought I had done that last year since we had been gifted the Reform Movement’s newer machzor Mishkan HaNefesh to be used this year…until Covid-19 kept us in our homes. We had decided to stay with the familiar, the maroon book that was already on many of our shelves at home. But this was the last time.

Like Ms. Brooks’s book, there will forever be hints of our history within my volume: the many post-its that will remain with the names of congregants who led prayers and read Torah and Haftarah. In it are the cues for our choir–first led by Sharon Leibowitz, z”l, and now Norm Chapman. Tucked away within the pages were photocopies of readings I would share.

I have never been an e-book kind of person. I like to hold the text, turn the pages and close the book at the end, whether a novel or a prayer book and now I think of the history that is encased in my machzor, my own Book of Life.

L’shana Tova.

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