November 24, 2008

More bat mitzvah memories

Last Shabbat, parashat Chayyei Sarah 5769, was the 36th anniversary of my bat mitzvah. In it, Sarah dies and Abraham sends his steward to arrange a marriage for his son Isaac to a nice Jewish girl from his family back in Mesopotamia. The steward doesn't know how he will meet the right girl for Isaac, and so he prays that she will offer water to him and to his camels. Rebekah comes along and does exactly this. She agrees to return with him and marry Isaac. And when she sees Isaac, she falls off her camel -- struck with love at first sight.

I was awaiting being called to the Torah for an aliyah when I realized that this is the portion Rabbi Gartenberg referred to when Rik and I had our aufruf, the aliyah before our wedding. He told us the story of Rebekah falling off her camel as a metaphor for our love at first sight, how this kind of experience can be so powerful, even overwhelming, that we lose our balance. I didn't realize until this past weekend that the story was from my own bat mitzvah portion!

Life is filled with circles, closing and overlapping...

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