Before my injury, I would sing and find pleasure in singing. Eric and I would go to all Musical Shabbat services because we appreciate music. For a secular Jew and a non-Jew, music is the single and best connection with Jewish religion. I love hearing and singing old and known songs: cherished memories come back to me, and I feel at home in a foreign country. Hearing and making music, beautiful music that is an appeal to a god, as well as hearing Ellen’s powerful and gorgeous voice, touches Eric’s feelings. That’s why he wants to attend services. After the injury, Eric’s and my connection with Judaism has still been music. So, we both went to these services.
That night, I experienced a pleasant surprise. As I’ve told in a previous chapter, the bleeding over my brain stem changed my voice: I speak and sing at a softer volume, my pitch is low, and I have a limited range. So, when I joined the members’ voices in singing, I knew that mine couldn’t stand out in the group. Yet that had a good rather than a bad effect. In the past, I would take pleasure in singing, but also in hearing my voice sing. Every time I sang I could confirm the “beautiful” sound of my voice. Now, because my voice was no longer “beautiful,” I could delight in singing and in hearing others sing – especially Ellen and her gorgeous and moving voice; I could delight in hearing the others’ buoyant voices, and feel at home.