Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The fringes of our lives
London, ON, September 2010
[Please click here for more Thematic favorite photos of the year]
Visitors to a synagogue may notice the prayer shawls, known as tallit, that most folks wear here. I've had my own since I was a kid, and the one I now wear my wife bought for me when we got married. There's a huge amount of tradition wrapped up in these otherwise unassuming fabric creations.
My favorite memory? When I was a munchkin attending services with my dad, I'd stand beside him, too short to see over the crowds. It was very claustrophobic down there, and also kinda of boring for a little guy. No Nintendo DS to pass the time.
So I played with the fringes on my father's tallit. I'd wind them between my fingers, playing quietly with them to keep from bothering him. He never told me to stop, and every once in a while he'd look down and smile, so I'm sure he liked it. Our daughter is now 13, and earlier this year she received tallit of her own to mark her Bat Mitzvah. As much of a young lady as she's become, we both still have recent memories of her playing with my fringes to pass the time, occasionally looking up at me to make sure it was still OK. And I'd smile back at her to let her know it absolutely was.
After all, if it connects our generations together, it must be a good thing.
Your turn: What does "from generation to generation" mean to you?