Birthdays, Mine and the World’s

I was born in September 5700. No need to calculate my age. It’s now almost 5779 and I’m traipsing right along with those incredible numbers. These are the numbers of the ancient and, surprisingly, here I am, one of the very old. Inscrutable.

Not that I want to go back in time. I’m savvy enough to know that when I was a pimply teenager, things weren’t perfect and, most importantly, the people in my life, the cast of characters if you please, were not yet amongst the beloved. So how could I yearn to go back in time and not know this husband, these children and grandchildren and, yes, that dashing fellow who’s my great grandson. May they all live and be well! And may there be more of them delivered to our midst!

So how could I go back? Sure I’d be a healthy kid instead of a doting old lady. My recall of words would definitely be better. Now I’m at that time when I need clues to remember lots of things. State capitals. Check. Names of movies. Check. Telephone numbers. Check. I never remembered I could forget so much.

And I who hardly slept in those bygone days……late to bed and early to rise. Now I confess to a deep devotion to an afternoon siesta. And while I delude the world by saying I’m reading, I’m really fast asleep.

My energy level has also shown its wrinkles. I never admitted to being too tired. Now is not then. I couldn’t run after kids in the playground. Not any more. And could I chase our runaway dog, the late great Major, who delighted in showing me that he was faster than I? I always lost to Major but now there’d be no contest. He’s long since gone. Poor Major. Always in a hurry to get someplace. And now that he’s been there all these many decades he’s probably wondering what the hurry was. Yes, he got old before I did. Now I’ve finally caught up.

I assume everyone is thinking the same thoughts now, at this time of year. Is it already almost Rosh Hashana? Where did the year go? And how did the year go?

The how is the hard part. Our world, Jewish and otherwise, just doesn’t get good! Most of us have enough to eat and sufficient necessities. We’re not at war and no one is overtly killing us……although don’t be foolish and say those days are gone forever. They’re not.

For me, I’m honored to share my birthday with that of the world. And, like so many of us, I focus on the little things. The menu and the wardrobe. The shul, the service, the sermon and, most loved, the singing. The singing elevates and brings majesty and joy. Who, among us, doesn’t love majesty and joy!

I wish for all the people Israel to have a blessed 5779,filled with majesty and joy. L’chaim chevrah!

About the Author
Rosanne Skopp is a wife, mother of four, grandmother of fourteen, and great-grandmother of three. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and travels back and forth between homes in New Jersey and Israel. She is currently writing a family history.