The Torah fell
It has been said in many ways things are just broken these days. Although I'm not really a fan (he never really spoke to my needs), Bob Dylan used the word 'broken' in some song I recall.
I received a message from my ex in Pennsylvania about her Rabbi who wrote a piece and sent it out to all he could concerning the fact that the Torah under his watch fell on the floor. There was no damage to the print but the holder were slightly bruised. This happened on May 22 which has the feeling of an auspicious number already. He wrote that this is not a good thing, that it is a sign that the Torah (simply learning and instructions on how to live) has not been followed. In falling upon the floor it had been demeaned and violated. The Rabbi called for a fast all day asking for reflection and 'teshuvah' (a return).
He pointed out that this happened on Shavuot which is the day the Torah was given to the people by Moses. Again a sign. In addition it happened right before the congregation sang the 'ancient poem' Akdamut which refers to the placement of the Torah as a focal point in life. The rabbi said this is a 'clear message.'
I had Maggie, my ex, read this writing and she added information that is informative and good to know and respectful to the history and occurrence. Usually I rewrite things in my own words but her words carry their own clarity and give a first hand account. She wrote:
(That’s good - but Moses didn’t give the Torah - G-d did!
In addition to the community fast, we shared the morning service (Shachrit) together and said Kaddish. A Torah scroll was brought out from the ark with proper reverence. Torah scrolls are brought out only in certain days of the week or for special events. The fast - for teshuvah and repentance - is called a Taanit Tzibur (minor fast which lasts from first light till full dark.)
In the Rabbi's words it was a sign people were 'forsaking something eternal for something temporal,' and that 'we were ignoring something profound for something shallow, and finally 'we are embracing something superficial and pushing aside something deep.'
When Maggie told me this I also fasted that day for 16 hours. I am not overly observant but the scenario struck me as odd and different and worthy of notice. It did seem like a sign. The day also had a strange energy and May 22 seemed like a natural metaphysical dividing point.
I think for the Jewish people they should take a moment of pause. I think all others should also take a moment of pause. A lot of signals and signs have come and gone. Some people might have been affected, some not, obviously not all. The wheel still seems to be turning. It's a bit of a mystery. It's easy to say 'so what.' I, for one, pay attention. I continue what I'm doing, I have to, but I also pay attention. Some events are signals, and this stands out in a unique way.