On Friday morning, I shared on this blog a story I had recently heard from my friend and community leader, Lisa Berman. At the end of that post I prayed–given all that had been going in the week–that Shabbat would come speedily.
This was before we had to cancel services for our community, as we all stayed in lock down for the remainder of the evening. When we made the decision to cancel services, I was frustrated. Not only was I saddened that I would not get to be with my community when I needed to be with others, but I was angry that I was being robbed of Shabbat.
But Shabbat did come, and my anger abated. After all, we were able to gather as a community Saturday morning and to have services and Torah study together. I was so glad to get to be with people I hold dear, so glad to have Shabbat morning services together, and so glad to get to celebrate a special young woman as she became bat mitzvah.
Following our morning services, I turned to Rabbi Gurvis and said, “Okay. It’s time for my run.”
“Have fun,” he responded.
I changed into my running clothes, stretched out, and then headed out from Temple Shalom onto Commonwealth Avenue. This was my first run since the explosions at the finish line, and while I was on it, I encountered Shabbat.
I headed inbound on Comm Ave. up the first of three hills in Newton that everyone always identifies as the root of heartache along the marathon route. It was beautiful out. Calm. A little windy, but it was refreshing. It was how Shabbat is supposed to be.
My turn came at the corner of Comm Ave. and Walnut St. Those of us who have driven past that corner are familiar with the Johnny Kelley statue. Two men are running, crossing an invisible finish line, holding hands as they cross it together. Both are wearing this year’s marathon medals.
This is actually the same man at two ages in his life. Johnny Kelley ran the marathon until he was into his 80’s. All around the statue people have placed flowers and mementos of goodwill in the face of the destruction that took place at the Marathon’s finish line. Next year, two marathon finishers will gift their medals to the statue to stay there until the next. As I took all of this in, I let out a deep breath, and I headed back the way I came.
A new prayer for this Sunday: May we travel from strength to strength, and may we continue to repair this world. Because we deserve that repair.