I feel obligated to mention that it is Rosh Hashana - the Jewish New Year.  We aren't going to synagogue.  I'm not sure either of us can muster the strength to go and sit there for hours, listening to the sermons and watching the happy families.  Maybe next year we will feel differently.  This year it never even came up as an option.

It is said that the period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is when god decides who will live and who will die.  I am pretty sure that Max wasn't even born yet by Rosh Hashana of 2010, so the decision must have been made while he was still in utero.  I wonder what exactly it was that he did that pushed god over the edge.

A colleague of mine wrote an email, meant to be energizing to our staff, saying that he once heard a rabbi say that the best way to assure being written into the book of life is to be necessary.  His point was that we should all keep doing good work so that god will see how important we are to the world and will ensure that we live through another year. What wasn't intended was the flip side of that statement, that those who we've lost had somehow become unnecessary.  Max was and is necessary to our family.  We hardly make sense as individuals and as a unit without him.  I hate to be so blasphemous but I am pretty sure god got it wrong.  He must have confused Max with someone less necessary.

If Max wasn't necessary - to me at least - I really fail to see who is.  If you could see the excitement in Mo's eyes when he sees other children, you'd know just how necessary his big brother really would have been to him.  If you could see the tears in Teddy's eyes, you'd know just how necessary Max was.  If you could see the hole in my heart.....the pain in his grandparents'd know.

On this Rosh Hashana, I wish for YOU to be written into the book of life - if that is what you want - with all of those people (and pets) whom you love the most.  Every life is necessary - no matter how young or old.

Shana Tova (Happy New Year)


GrahamForeverInMyHeart said...

I cannot handle being in synagogue and watching other happy families while missing my son every second. It brings back too many family memories, including his Bar Mitzvah, where, despite his extreme shyness, he managed to chant beautifully and perfectly.
My solution is to stream the services on my computer. That way, I can sit and sob and not worry about disturbing anyone or spoiling their experience.
May this New Year with Mo be healthy and sweet.

Tiffany said...

i've thought of you often especially with the Jewish New Year approaching (you are pretty much my only Jewish friend, so I always think of you when I hear of anything Jewish). I can imagine how much that email must have stung. I can think of no other "necessary" people than our precious children. their mere existence gives us so much purpose. you can't get more necessary than that. wish he had chosen better words. sending you love...

Jayden's Mommy said...

I'm sorry Abby.

Rachael Petru Horowitz said...

Abby, my opinion is that RH and YK are not about being sealed in the book of life or even about God making determinations of who shall be inscribed in the book of life. Since when do modern Jews make it their business to interpret our writings so literally? Its our obligation to challenge the obvious nature of our words and read between the lines. This time of the year, I believe, is meant to inspire reflection, renewal, revival, much in our text to support that kind of activity as the primary purpose of this time of the year. To God we are but dust...but to our community we are EVERYTHING. No one can be spared, yet some must live, so must not. And some lives must be forever changed.

Everyone who is born is necessary, Abby. Maxie was and is so necessary and its just a crime and a HUGE mistake that he isn't with us on earth.