Every morning, my mother would awaken me. “Gut Morgen,” she would whisper. Her body leaned over mine and I felt her wet kiss linger on my forehead. “Time for school.”
As I tumbled out of bed, I would stumble upon my father. Standing next to the open window in the corner of the living room, my rabbi -father swayed to the rhythm of his premeditated prayer dance, draped in his white and black-striped worship-gear. Often, my father enveloped me under his prayer shawl wings,and we moved through the morning ritual together.
Now when I wrap myself in my white cotton prayer shawl scattered with blue, magenta and purple embroidery, I long for the security that my father’s well-worn wool tallit offered me at morning time. Through decades of time and distance our spiritual practice is surprisingly similar. We still embrace each other albeit virtually.
Before I open my eyes in the morning, I recite the Hebrew prayer of gratitude:
Modah Ani. Thank you Holy One for returning my soul to my body and renewing
the life force within me.
Then, I open my eyes and take notice of my surroundings. The fleshy tones of the
bedroom paint connect me physically to my body. The light from my bay window calls my spirit into being. I enunciate my good fortunes thought by thought. Modah Ani. Somewhere behind my morning ritual is the promise of a sweet kiss on my forehead.and a warm embrace.