A familiar face - Livre d'Or

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A familiar face
Saturday, 20 May 2006 at 07:20 pm
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This morning I went to synagogue, as per normal. I'm starting to feel a bit less of a complete stranger there as quite a few people have started coming up to me to introduce themselves and chat. I still find the nusach, the style of service, a bit jarring, but I'm sure I'll get used to it, and they're nice and friendly which is far the most important thing.

Anyway, at the kiddush, the food and socializing after the service, I nearly fell over when a very old friend of mine walked in. DY is someone I met at Jewish summer camp when I was, what, 12? Summer camp was a very odd experience for me; I attended an academically selective, all girls private school from the age of 8 to 18, and it was at camp that I was suddenly thrown into a world where what mattered was not your intelligence, but your coolness. I was so not cool, which made it fairly hellish in some ways. But I did meet some of my favourite people there, mostly the other uncool outsider types.

I've run into DY unexpectedly several times since. Once when I went to a young CCJ conference which she turned out to be running. And last autumn I went to a funeral, mainly to accompany my grandmother as the deceased was a friend of hers. And it turned out that this friend of my grandmother's also happened to be the grandfather of DY, so of course she was at the funeral. In fact, she was not only at the funeral, but leading the service, as she is a trainee rabbi.

Just wow. DY is in Stockholm with one of those groupings of young European mostly Progressive Jews; now I know that this particular group is based in Stockholm, I should definitely get in touch with them. Anyway, it was so cool to see her, and she introduced me to various people and it was all social and nice.

At DY's invitation I attended a panel discussion after the service with her Jewish education group. The discussion was a bit rubbish, being very badly moderated; the individual speakers had quite interesting things to say, but they were not interacting either with eachother or with the audience. And the moderator was not only not promoting discussion, but actively stifling it by repeatedly diverting the topic to his agenda. Quote of the afternoon, though: So, speaking as an outsider, what's your view of the human race?

I went home briefly to drink tea and sort a couple of things out. When I came out to come to the lab and go online, I got caught in a really intense rainstorm. So I am soaked through even though I was wearing a mostly waterproof coat. On the plus side, the sun was shining through this downpour which caused an extremely impressive double rainbow.

Whereaboooots: Stora Synagogan, Stockholm, Sweden
Moooood: surprisedsurprised
Tuuuuune: Highly operatic chazzan *sigh*
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sartorias: default
Date:May 20th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
1 hours after journal entry, 11:15 am (sartorias's time)
Is their Hebrew Swedish accented?

Once very many decades ago I made a friend while traveling, and she invited me to visit her in Paris. Unfortunately her father died suddenly the week before I arrived for my visit, and as phones in those days were rare, and her letter got to my place the day after I left (there being no post in Vienna on Saints' Days, of which there seemed to be about 200 a year) I arrived at her place while they were sitting shiva. The rise and fall of French-accented Hebrew voices was as compelling as it was sad.
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livredor: letters
Date:May 21st, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
22 hours after journal entry, 04:00 pm (livredor's time)
Yeah, they do speak Hebrew with somewhat of a Swedish accent. Though it's not incredibly strong, I probably wouldn't have identified it if I'd heard it out of context. I think Hebrew is getting more homogeneous these days as more and more people, in whatever country, are taught Hebrew by Israelis, or at least see Israeli Hebrew as the "correct" pronunciation. But there are still slight differences between different communities, which can be quite endearing. The trop they use here for reading Torah I have never come across before, so that's interesting too.

What an incredible story of your accidentally ending up at your friend's father's shiva. Thanks for repeating that here.
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