Then, synagogue members offered their help. When we moved to Beacon in 2007, the synagogue turned to a second home. There, I cooked and sang and gave to others, within and without its walls. Now, eleven or twelve years later, when I was no longer able to use my left arm and leg, the synagogue gave me. Friends and members came to offer food, chat, and sing with me. And when I felt better, Eric and I went there to sing with them. When we arrived, everybody welcomed me with a hug, saying, “It’s so good to see you.” I felt wrapped in love and surrounded by happiness, excitement, movement, and noise. When I joined my voice with others, it felt like coming back.
At the beginning of my injury, the members with whom I was closer offered their support spontaneously. It started with phone conversations and visits to the hospital. Then, when I was back home, visits became long face-to-face chats, laughs, and singing. Long chats led to friendship, and then served to strengthen it and develop mutual affection. Finding constant signs of support and affection from both synagogue and Beacon friends, who immediately came to offer their support and company, helped me endure the long healing process until I got my life back.
Now everyone has to stay home because of the quarantine. Yet, I’m still communicating with all those who have given so much to me; I feel I need to reciprocate. Then there are those who have become or already were true friends, and I’m eager to talk or sing with them over a Whatsapp videocall. And there are yet those with whom I have the traditional Friday coffee, now moved to an online platform. And lastly, through the synagogue’s programs, the Havdalah chanting and meditation Saturdays, also online, a source of needed peace for me these days.