Sunday, December 17, 2006

A trip--of a different kind--down Memory Lane

My husband dared me to tell you about my little trip-up this past Friday afternoon, so I will. :)

I came tearing into the apartment at about 45 minutes to Shabbos. Fortunately, my husband had everything pretty much under control. Dinner was on the hottray. The diningroom table was cleared and ready to be set, the Shabbat (Sabbath) candles were set up, the kos Kiddush/Kiddush cup was on the table, along with the two challot (Sabbath breads) under the challah cover. I put the kettle up with water for tea to be made before Shabbat, and took care of my business things while the water was boiling, emptying my pockets, removing from my neck the cord with the flash drive, and disconnecting the key ring with my office, mailbox, and bank vault keys from the cord on which I'd be "wearing" my apartment keys around my neck on Shabbat. I even remembered to make sure that there was no battery in my CD player/radio, which frequently gets turned on by accident just from the pressure exerted by the rest of the junk in my pocketbook--last Shabbat, we were "entertained" by the radio until the battery finally gave out. I printed out the z'manim (candle-lighting and other important times) for New York City from the OU website. I printed out the local weather report for Saturday from the Weather Channel website. I unscrewed the lightbulbs in the refrigerator (lest we accidentally turn on a light on Shabbat just by opening the 'fridge or freezer door), and ran around the apartment taping the lights on or off, as appropriate. In the process of running around, I just so happened to look up just long enough to see the livingroom window--and almost croaked. Holy Moses! It's a good thing I'm married, because I had completely forgotten that we needed to set up our chanukiot! Fortunately, thanks to my husband, the chanukiot were already sitting on the windowsill with candles in them, all ready for lighting.

It gets better, folks. Those of you who've been reading my blog for a while may remember that I've been davvening Shacharit (praying the Morning Service) on Shabbat and Pilgrimage Festivals at home for, um, about two years (?) because, never having had the privilege of attending a Jewish day school, I can't read Hebrew particularly quickly, and got tired of trying to keep up with the "speed-davveners." So there I was, davvening along quite nicely at my own pace when suddenly, smack in the middle of a blessing, I smacked myself in the forehead before I could think to stop myself: "Shira, you idiot, you have to say Hallel today!" So much for davvening at my preferred pace--let's just say that I wasn't able to linger as much over Hallel as I would have liked. Time was a particular problem yesterday morning because I needed to leave myself enough of it to practice the haftarah twice more before leaving for shul/synagogue for the Torah reading and Musaf (the "Additional Service," a substitute for the special Sabbath and/or holiday sacrificial service).

I can still laugh over my memory loss because, for me, it's still only a minor annoyance. But for my mother, memory loss is not the least bit funny. It's no laughing matter when my mother asks my father to set the table and he has to ask her where the dishes are.


Blogger westbankmama said...

I love Hallel - we have very uplifting tunes in our synagogue. I forgot to say Yaaleh v'Yavo in the shacharit davening on Shabbat though. I remembered for mussaf, and haven't forgotten it again.

Tue Dec 19, 11:49:00 AM 2006  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I love Hallel, too, and I really didn't want to rush through it.

Here's a minhag that I developed quite unconciously, undoubtedly because I'm a dancer: One fine day in synagogue, in the middle of Hallel, I suddenly realized that, every time we sang the words "heharim rak'du ch'elim (literally, "the mountains danced like rams"), I would bounced up and down on my toes in time to the music, as if dancing. I have no idea how long I've been doing that.

Tue Dec 19, 11:08:00 PM 2006  

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