This may be just another useless explanation, the kind of futile attempt at finding meaning and logic that we all resort to in response to grief, but sometimes it seems life has it in for you in a very personal way.
The years turn and turn, slowly at first, like the wheels of a train as they roll from the station. Bit by bit, momentum gathers. In the window, scenery starts to flicker and flit. We catch glimpses of a gray mountain capped with snow, a shanty red barn long abandoned. The train hurtles by a lake so still that it casts an unearthly reflection of the heavens, and then it, too, is gone. Suddenly, the train lurches. It pulls up to a platform. We disembark. Behind the train, twin tracks of silver vanish in the distance. We’ve traveled far and traveled quickly. “It went by so fast,” we say.
The U'netaneh Tokef prayer says: On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed: Who shall live and who shall die, who shall perish by water and who by fire, who by famine and who by thirst . God's got it on His iPhone, of course.
Within the calendar that constitutes the Jewish cathedral in time, no days are more saturated with the experience of human nature, and with experiments in human change, than the Days of Awe. This is when we are asked, paradoxically, both to steep in our powerlessness to escape our species' fate, and yet also to try out behaviors that can rescue us from our destinies.
A foursome was tramping the fairway toward the seventh hole at Hillcrest Country Club last Saturday when two coyotes appeared from out of the shrubs.
At one point in the Taper Forum play "The Talking Cure," Sigmund Freud warns the young Carl Gustav Jung not to needlessly stir up the enemies of psychoanalytic theory.
"Sometimes fate takes too long." So reads the tagline on the home page for matchmaker.com, an Internet personals site.
Besides limiting the TV viewing of his girls, ages 5 and 9, Finley said, "I tell them, 'I'll let you know when it's time to worry.'"
"When there's been a big battle," the rabbi continued, "I tell them the next day, 'It was time to worry, but I forgot to tell you, so now you don't have to worry.'"
And so each day goes for the Finleys and thousands of American families like them, who desperately hope to learn something about the fate of their loved ones and try somehow to deal with knowing very little.
Kayitz is one of approximately 1,000 Jewish men and woman serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. They represent a fraction of the estimated 20,000 Jews among the 1.5 million in the U.S. armed forces.