Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Mobile Maven at Work in Wisconsin: Nightmare Version
By Marge Eiseman

Did you ever have a nightmare about how a certain Storahtelling event would go? See if your version can top this: I spent weeks preparing Parashat Mishpatim, including a special in-town consult with Jake, only to show up on the morning of the service to an empty synagogue. Apparently, 7 inches of snow was enough to cancel the service for the families who were driving, and they tried to call me to cancel about 45 min. before the service was to start (I was on the road without my cell). Later on, I heard from some of the 25 people who did show up LATE, that they ended up having a service anyway, but didn't call me back. Ok, I was nice about it. Let's reschedule for the next family service, one month later, parashat Vayakhel. I picked Ex 35:30 - 36:7, when Bezalel was named and called to the part where Moses has to tell the people to stop bringing stuff because they had too much stuff. I called this show, "More than Enough" and had a perfect song by Jana Stanfield ready to go. I kept dreaming about this every night, waking up in this parasha, wondering what was going to happen, and praying for the flow of inspiration. (What else would I ask for when concentrating on Chochmah, Binah and Da'at "CHaBaD" but the Divine flow of Shefa?) I was doing this one solo, which makes me a bit nervous and until 3 days prior, I didn't know who was going to read the Torah, but it was the rabbi's wife and an older woman who I know loves to read (and kept offering to read more than I asked for!)

Add to this, I was really feeling lousy -- woke up with a horrible migraine/sinus headache and a sore throat. Oh this is going to be good.

At least it didn't snow. I got there early, coffee in hand (and 2 excedrin migraine in my system already). The rabbi and his wife, Sandi, are there setting up chairs, and I casually mention that I'm glad she was willing to read each line as I translate...and she looks at me crooked. "You didn't get that message?" "No, but it's ok. When Ruth gets here, I'll tell her. Don't worry!" The service starts 15 minutes late and I see Sandi go over to Ruth to explain the bit about reading each line and waiting.

The service is horrible -- no pace and no ruach. And there are 50 people here including lots of kids! Is it me? I don't think so!

And finally, it's my turn. I start to speak, and my voice hurts. I apologize that I might not fill the room as I usually do, but I give it a shot. Opening scene and begin with the Torah service. I call up the 1st aliyah, and notice that both readers are standing there. What's up? Sandi is reading 35:30-35 but Ruth is sure that she reads first. It turns out she had prepared 35:1-7 not 36:1-7!!! "Can't you just translate what I've prepared?" OMG NOOOOOO!!

I move Ruth out of the way, and Sandi reads, and I translate. By now, my friend Shirah jumps into the breach -- "I'll read from the Chumash and Ruth can follow in the scroll" and we make our way through the rest of the Torah reading.

Fortunately, the best part of the day was the stretch and by now, adrenalin has mixed with caffeine and excedrin, and I'm feeling no pain, so when its all over, I sang "More than Enough"

"I have more than enough of all that I need, to do all I can do, be all I can be. As I go through this day, this is my creed, I have more than enough of all that I need."

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