Sunday, September 17, 2017

#BlogElul 5777: Bless

L’chi lach to a land that I will show you
Lech l’cha to a place you do not know
L’chi lach on your journey I will bless you
And you shall be a blessing L’chi lach
What does it mean to be a blessing?

I’m not entirely sure, but I think I got a taste of it this morning, when I arrived at Penn Station so early that I had time to pop into the Starbucks across the street for an iced coffee. As I sipped the coffee and watched the passing scene, a well-dressed young man came in and sat next to me just as he was finishing a call.

“Yeah, so this middle aged white guy stopped me and asked about how to get to MoMA. You think you’re being helpful, but I think he was distracting me because next time I checked, my wallet was gone. I stopped all the credit cards, but I have no ID and no cash. Thanks for your help…I’ll figure it out. Bye.

Then, he kept trying to reach people on his cell phone, but, unfortunately, he kept getting voice mail.

“Hi, it’s me. You’re probably still sleeping, and I know it’s a long shot, but please let me know if you’re coming into Manhattan today. Call me when you get this message.”

“Hi, Jen, it’s your brother. If there’s any chance you’re coming into the city today, please let me know. It’s a long story, but I need $!6 or $17 to get a train ticket. Love you.

This went on for three or four more calls, and with each one he became more distraught.

Imagining myself in his position, I would like to think someone might just hand me $20 so I could be on my way.

So, that’s what I did, telling him my hope.

“Can I at least mail it back to you so I don’t feel so embarrassed?”

“Don’t be embarrassed. This wasn’t your fault,” I said, as I gave him my card.

“Hi, Jane. I’m Steve…thanks so much. We’ll sure be talking about you at the dinner table tonight.

And then he was gone…back on his way to wherever he was headed in the first place.

Whether or not I hear from him, I so want to believe I was a blessing, and not part of a scam.

Maybe I was, and maybe I wasn’t; and I may never know.
L’chi lach and I shall make your name great
Lech l’cha and all shall praise your name
L’chi lach to the place that I will show you
L’simchat chayim L’chi lach
And you shall be a blessing L’chi each
Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima , this #BlogElul post is one in a series marking the days of the Hebrew month of Elul, which precede the Jewish High Holidays and traditionally serve as a time of reflection and spiritual preparation for the new year.