5/19/15

Duck Dominance . . .

Our Eternal Flame and our sunlights. Beautiful, no?!
I was sitting in services Friday evening - just minding my own business and basking in the peace, joy, and happiness that comes with Erev Shabbat Service.

This service was particularly wonderful as a young congregant was being Bar Mitzvahed (point of order, my Goys, you ARE a bar/bat mitzvah . . . you don't "have" one). Here he was, on the bema, at the pulpit, and dropping Hebrew like a boss (cracking voice and all) when, just as we were preparing for the Torah portion of the service. All of the sudden and with very little initial clarity for myself and others in the sanctuary, we heard this horrible squealing sound that was a cross between the sound of ample buttocks sliding in or out of a bathtub and nails on a chalkboard connected to a microphone connected to a reverb machine.

It lasted a few seconds and then it stopped. We all went back to what we were doing. Then it happened again. Then again and again. Soon enough all of our eyes were looking straight up to the roof of our inverted-bucket-shaped House of G-d. And there we saw the noisemaker on high.

What was it? A duck (don't you read the names of the posts?) trying to perch itself perfectly atop the wet sunlight of the temple only to slide down the globe-ous shape to stride back up and try it again, to slide back down again. After about eight attempts my Rabbi (who is not easily shaken) even had to make a joke so we could all move on.

I doubt the duck knew that he was making all that noise. I doubt, more, that he had any idea there were dozens of people below him trying to enjoy something quiet, reserved, and beautiful. I doubt, the most, that the duck would have tried and tried to get atop that extra 18" of height if it knew we were below trying to get our worship on. No. Not because ducks are reverent but because it seems I will assign ducks the human trait of honoring those things that, while not important to us, are important to others.

As the duck gave up and Rabbi got back down to business (a wonderful sermon about the ever-shrinking-yet-ever-strong practicing Jewish population in the United States (1.9% yet the second largest group to Christians)) I wondered . . . have I ever been the duck on the roof of someone's religious home interrupting the most important rite of passage of a young man's life? Okay, fine, better question - when was the LAST time I was said duck?

Oy vey iz mir.