Shopping today. Bought everythign for tonight and the next three days. I hope.
First had lunch. The pizza place was packed - no free tables - so I looked for half a table. And I saw one. On the other half? A friend of mine and his five year old. So I asked if I could join them. He said yes and that his wife, Leah, would also be there and she'd be thrilled to see me. I haven't seen her in months, either.
I've known Leah for thirteen years, since she joined our shul in Park Slope as a newly divorced mother of three - one seven, two six. Her ex had custody of the three boys (her wish, btw.) She had them every other Shabbat and after school every other Sunday, and a week night or two. She needed the break and she needed a synagogue that would let her find her way back to religion without pressure, and Congregation B'nai Jacob is just right for that. As it happens, there was a fair number of little boys her sons' ages, inclulding the rabbi's own sons, and she lived in the rabbi's apartment building, so she was taken into the community right away. And we became friends.
I will NEVER forget her kindness when my father passed away, when she came home with me that morning and stayed there until Jonathan came back from services, saying psalms while I caught up with a sleepless night, so I wouldn't be alone. Just knowing she was there in my disaster area of an apartment helped.
Later, she got full custody of the boys - she was ready and their father had married a widow with a large family of her own, so the time was right, and then, now comfortable with being religious, she moved to Flatbush (same block I'm on now), and started covering her hair again. Soon after, she met *her* second husband, and they got married only a few months before we moved out here. A year or so later, she had Yissacher Shalom. They've moved to a differnet part of Flatbush, but I still see Yeshaya around.
And now they're making aliyah this August because, again, the time is right for it.
Anyway. I now have five boxes and three bags of food in my living room to be placed in my currently empty refrigerator. Including the most perfect thing ever for this Shabbos - individual challah rolls each sealed in its own plastic bag. I bought four and they are the only bread I own. Also, I bought a precooked shankbone for my seder plate.
And those boxes and bags? Are all for the next few days. I haven't thought of chol hamoed yet.
Tomorrow: COOKING FARR