Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Tallis and the Tickets

After my last post, Cookie responded with a good suggestion as to where I could keep the tickets in the future to avoid losing them again.
Her idea is a good one but I suspect I will go back to our old storage spot -- updated for our current family situation.

And here goes another "Mom and the High Holy Days" story ...

Back in the days when Mom and Mike and I would go to services together, we'd walk over to the synagogue with our tickets in our hands. When we got inside and were seated, we all handed our tickets to Mike, who tucked them in his tallis (tallit) bag. The reasoning was simple -- Mom and I usually did not have pockets in which to tuck the tickets. When we could, we let Mike carry the apartment keys in his suit pockets and the keys and tickets were all that we carried. It harkens back to the rules restricting what one can carry on the Sabbath or High Holy days. It also harkens back to the fact that even back then they briefly searched bags and purses and not having one just made entry faster.

Back to the tickets ...

One year we forgot to remove the tickets after Yom Kippor and the following year we discovered them in the tallis bag. And quickly realized that they were exactly the same color as the previous year. Woo Hoo! Extra tickets! This started the tradition of storing the tickets from year to year in Mike's tallis bag. We never used the "extras" but it was always nice to know that we could bring in an extra family member if they wanted to come.

The color of the tickets held steady for several years and then we switched our service preference and started going to the early service instead of the late one. [Our synagogue has so many families that two seatings are required for the High Holy days. The clergy are very careful to make sure that the services are as identical as possible.] The early service tickets were a different color which made the old, hoarded tickets useless to us. We continued, however, hoarding the new tickets until two things happened. One, Mike stopped going to services and two, they started changing up the color of the tickets from year to year. I guess we weren't the only ones who realized what was going on.

This brings us to 2009 ...

As we were toting around Squidette's tallis today, I mentioned that she really needed a bag for it. Carrying around an unprotected tallis is just asking for trouble. Particularly when one does not have a purse to tuck it into and one is going to lunch right after services.

You see, I am still, when possible, carrying on the tradition of traveling lightly on the Holy days. Now, however, I make sure to wear a suit with pockets deep enough to handle my apartment or car keys (one or the other, never both), my drivers license, some cash / credit and a small handful of tissues. Yes, my pockets bulge and look a bit unattractive but I do not have a purse that has to be tucked somewhere out of sight while ushering. I made Little Squid (as the male with pockets) take his (turned off) cell phone so I wouldn't have to carry mine and so we could easily hook up with our friends for lunch after services. Yes, I am already using my son the way Mom used Mike. Squidette did not have any pockets and my shallow suit jacket pockets were already bulging.


Tomorrow I intend to take a walk over to the quilting store and see about getting a set of fat quarters in blues and whites. I'm thinking a simple Jewish Star on top of a nice background fabric with a button closure. It has to be a fairly large bag since the tallis is a big one.

Mike offered his tallis bag to the cause but there are two problems with his. One: it's actually a t'fillin bag and hence 1/2 the size of a normal tallis bag and two: we can't find it. We didn't even try to find his tallis for Squidette's bat mitzvah (though we probably knew where it was back then) since his tallis is too small for him. It was bought to fit a thirteen-year-old boy and not a grown man. Instead, Mike wore my dad's tallis and my dad wore my Zedda's tallis. We have a vague idea of where Mike's tallis is but when I looked for it before, to take a photo for this post, I could not easily find it.

So there you have it. The Tallis and the Tickets. Not an especially gripping tale, but one of fond memories and lots of side-references.


Cookie said...

A wonderful post, lovely story and great place to keep the tickets.

And I love that you're already training Little Squid for his life of carrying items for his womenfolk. ;^)

Oldpatterns said...

I bought a nice chinese silk purse in San Fransisco for my new tallit. I was also looking at the Japanese wrapping fabric to make a Tallis holder.