A medium sized package arrived via Priority Mail with Hebrew postal stickers from Israel to our house. Inside the corrugated envelope was a large plastic bag with a typed note that concealed its contents.
The note was from Rabbi/Cantor Eli Perlman, my eldest brother. It began “The Days of Awe are the perfect time for you to start fulfilling the Mitzvah of wearing the Techelet. A magnificent folded Tallit Gadol was discovered beneath his gracious note.
My brother wanted me to own and use a brand new Talis for the High Holidays. A Talis that had my embroidered name HaChazzan Emanuel Chaim but more significantly that displayed it with the words in Hebrew the son of HaChazzan Yitzchak Eliyahu…
Last Saturday Night I donned the Talis reciting the b’racha for wearing a new article of “clothing” followed by the pronouncement of the Shehecheyanu immediately before beginning the Selichot Service. With a large Talis there is a tendency to be occupied both consciously and unconsciously with “fixing it” as it precariously rests on ones shoulders. It is a gentle reminder of how we experience life.
We wrap ourselves in our hopes and dreams. We kiss the Tzizzit and think of our place with today’s Jewish people and how we honor our Patriarchs and Matriarchs. We kiss the Tzizzit and pretend we are kissing loved ones who have returned to God. In my case for the very first time I will be “kissing” my Mom and my Dad on my Talis this year.
All thanks to my oldest brother who will be doing the same with his new Talis from Israel…
May all of the beloved congregants of Chizuk Amuno both in the recent and long ago past and today’s faithful members including all extended family find themselves wrapped in embracing memories when kissing their Tzizzit and feeling them “kissing” them back!