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Jr. Tales: A Yom Kippur Vision

Leeba Leichtman

I stood, wavering, as I glanced back at the pair of round, metal-rimmed glasses. Someone was missing his glasses and would have a lot of trouble following the davening today… But then Daddy pulled the brass handle and turned toward me with a questioning look

Thursday, October 06, 2016

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T I was entering shul that Yom Kippur morning with Daddy and our neighbor Mr. Handlesman when I saw it. I wanted to say something, but they both looked too engrossed in their thoughts to really hear me.

Moments later, Mordechai Gross from my class walked by with his father and older brother. I thought of telling him, but they were hurrying into shul, and Mordechai just gave me a quick smile before the three of them stepped through the big mahogany doors and headed for their seats.

So there I stood, wavering, as I glanced back at the pair of round, metal-rimmed glasses. Someone was missing his glasses and would have a lot of trouble following the davening today… But then Daddy pulled the brass handle and turned toward me with a questioning look, gesturing me to hurry up and come inside. I gave the glasses one last fleeting look before I followed him in. I’d come back for them later and find the owner myself.

Shacharis passed uneventfully. I tried looking around a few times to see who might be missing his glasses, but everyone’s faces were covered by their talleisim, some even buried in their siddurim. But after I finished Shemoneh Esreh, I looked around and saw that it would definitely be some time before the adults finished davening. Perfect, I thought, as I slipped quietly outside. Now I’d better find those glasses, before somebody steps on them…

Crocs squeaking slightly in the still-dewy grass, I approached the place where I’d last seen them. Sure enough, there they were — still in the same place, next to the fence surrounding the shul’s yard, only partially hidden by the grass. I picked them up. Strange… they were very heavy. I turned them over. Nothing unusual — just round, metal frames with some scratched-up lenses that looked like they’d been around a while. The lenses were thick — but not that thick. Something was definitely weird. I took a quick look around. If anyone saw me in these outdated frames, I’d be a laughingstock, for sure. Nobody was watching so I slipped them on…

In an instant, the shul was gone. The sky, cloudy only moments ago, was now the deepest blue I’d ever seen. And all around me were people, so many people, standing so close to one another, I could barely see anything else. And their clothing… well, it certainly wouldn’t go in my class. None of the with-it kids in fifth grade wore long, colorful robes with cloths wound around their heads and leather-strap sandals.

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