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Small Instance of Humanity Part…. oh who remembers?

April 13, 2011
For a limited time only.It was an unknown number.  I took a chance and answered the call anyway.

“Hello?”  I asked cautiously.

“Hello.  Is this Luca?”  He pronounced Luca as if it were slightly foreign; his voice was nonetheless warm and somehow instantly calming.  It sounded familiar.

“Yes, this is she,” I answered in my best I-was-raised-properly-by-my-old-fashioned-mother voice.

“This is Rabbi Yossi Maman,” he stated.  “I was just wondering if you were coming to Seder this year.”

I laughed slightly in incredulous recognition.  It was my rabbi from Chicago.  How he remembered me was anyone’s guess; the man had a large congregation and I only met him once a year, at first Seder.  The fact he had my number seemed like a mini divine miracle.  “I wish I could, but unfortunately I graduated,” I stammered finally.

“It is not unfortunate that you graduated.”

“No!  I mean, it’s unfortunate I am no longer in Chicago.  I live in DC now.”

“Do you have a Seder to go to this year then?”  His voice was warm with concern.

“Yes.  Actually, I am co-hosting one of my own this year.  I will probably use my Chabad haggadah, come to think of it.”

“I’m glad.  That is wonderful.”  There was a pause, and then Rabbi Maman once again blew my mind.  He said, “What about your friend Spencer?  Is he still in the Chicago area?”

“You have a good memory!  I didn’t know you knew I was friends with Spencer.  Uh, yeah, he is still in the area.”

“Does he have a Seder to go to?  No one should be left without.”

“I don’t know,” I admitted.

Rabbi Maman asked for Spencer’s number.  And slightly in awe (yet also wondering if Spence was later going ask me if I were crazy) I gave it to him.
What can I say?  Sometimes the fact that I inexplicably and undeservedly belong to this group, the fact that this holy man thought it was worth taking time out of his life to make sure I had a Seder to go to- little, not-very-Jewish me- takes my breath away.

It is in moments like these, despite not believing in God, I am blessed.

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