Given an 8:10 pm candle lighting time....our synagogue arranged to have our gathering at the beach. We aren't that far and we could have services and get back before the actual Shabbat...so I guess it was actually a pre Shabbat, but it was glorious!
It has been raining I think for weeks.... this was the only day with sun!
This was a very welcomed and needed experience for me. Earlier in the day I was confronted with one of those classic convert dilemmas. A Catholic funeral. I had known about it for a number of days. Earlier in the week I was informed about the death of the husband of a woman I have known. This person was very kind to me throughout some very difficult and dark times at the end of my first marriage. I would be hard pressed to call her a good friend, but in that time, in that place she was exceedingly kind. Now her husband is dead, unexpectedly, and they are only having a full mass...no wake, no gathering etc. After much thought,meditation and I guess even prayer, I decided to go. To say I felt uncomfortable doesn't describe the odd emotions. I felt awkward...I sat in the back, didn't participate in prayers or songs,and didn't kneel . When it felt most difficult I recited the Shama to myself. It was like a time travel dream. I was there but I was different. I am Jewish and felt it in every fiber of my being. I am glad I went to show my support...it was the kind thing to do...and it was another opportunity to experience my feeling totally Jewish.