Goodbye my New England summer…

I choose to spend the final glorious hours of my New England summer stupidly attempting to ride my friend Mario’s monstrous 1500 cc Honda Vulcan.

I’m terrified at the sheer power of this, how many worlds separate this beautiful red beast from my beloved – lightweight 250 cc Kawasaki.

The brief lull in the Monday holiday beach traffic is my cue.The moment I’ve been waiting for. Either do it now – or forget this insanity and finish up my book safely ensconced in the hammock on my porch.

Tentatively I kick into first and ease out onto Lynn Shore drive. So far so good, as I get off to a wobbly but decent start. Ten…twelve, fifteen miles an hour right away, I shift into second, thankfully remembering to use the back clutch. Rounding the corner I break out into a smile, as Red Rock flashes up in front of me. The sun lingers sadly over Kings beach, her shy farewell glistening out onto the rocks, cascading over the Guatemalan fishermen and mounted Staties; shimmering, she bids farewell to the multicultural throngs out for their final summer stroll – bathing them in an added burst of bonus warmth.

The rapidly approaching traffic light means a decision must be made.

Do I count my blessings; make a right turn, hang another quick right onto Ocean street, head back and call it a day? Or do I continue to the rotary, toward Nahant?

I continue straight, slowing down as I approach the rotary, carefully easing into the circle.

Out of the rotary I shift into third..fourth – suddenly I’m thundering down the causeway!

Below to my right, the narrow channel framed by the slowly setting sun begins to settle beyond the distant silhouette of the Boston skyline – “Miyemini Michael” angel Michael surfaces from nowhere, blissfully flapping along in a heavenly vintage sidecar – speedometer climbing, thirty five…forty, planes take off and land all the while – hovering indifferently in the blood red skies over Logan.

On my left Nahant beach rises up waves gently lapping the sand, “in the name of Hashem G-d of Israel – forty..forty five, “Mismoli Gavriel” – as the bike growls effortlessly into fifty I spot angel Michael to my left – spinning his tunes live from a pagoda on the beach – as he works his magic he glances over at me …”full tank?” he asks mischievously, then he winks knowingly, as if to say “thanks for draggin me out here on a holiday – no worries though, I could have ended up in worse places.. we’ve been assigned to establish an angelic perimeter around this moment, he confides to me, cordoning off the past, with angel Rafael’s mysterious, morphine tinged – yellow hazard tape while Uriel up ahead – blocks out the anxiety of the future.

Freeing up the here, carving out the now …fifty five…sixty, the tank IS full I scream into the wind…truly full.

Round the slight bend, then straight ahead Nahant approaches – Milfanay Uriel; Angel Uriel prays a wild mincha outside the dunkin donuts, lighting up the parking lot as the early evening coolatta set starts to drift in…

Rabbi Yossi

About the Author
Rabbi Yossi Lipsker is the co-founder and executive Director of Chabad of the North Shore and spiritual leader of the Chabad Community Shul. He can be reached at