When flying overseas you go through the usual pains to make sure you’ve packed everything prior to your trip: you remember things, there are things you forget and then there are still other things you remember to bring but forget. Upon leaving Israel this summer, my shofar, kittel, and an important book fell into the last category.
We were already on the way to the airport when I realized the shofar wasn’t in my possession, already at the airport when I realized I forgot my kittel and already on the plane when I realized I didn’t have the sefer.
But of the three being ‘shofar-less’ was a major disappointment. With Elul just a few days away and expecting to be in far off places across the US the thought of not hearing the daily call of the shofar during the month leading up to Rosh Hashonna was a bit much, especially being away from Eretz Yisrael.
Hoping someone could bring it to me I posted a message on Facebook. Several days later I tried again and after a few well-intentioned responses a plan was set in motion. My friends Sara Henna and Davide were flying to Boston that Thursday evening but I had trouble reaching Jen, the person who had the key to our apartment. Thursday at 5 pm Israel time, just two hours before Sara Henna left for the airport, we finally connected and from my computer in North Carolina i was able to have Jen open the apartment while good friend Alex made the pick up and drop off in Rehavia. The shofar was on the road.
Once back in Boston Sara Hena realized her sister Esti just happened to be flying into Raleigh, North Carolina for a wedding that Sunday in Greensboro, about an hour and a half from Charlotte.
What were the chances? It was almost too easy and in the spirit of the moment, we decided I’d pick it up there.
Sunday morning came and after the minyan at Chabad in Charlotte I asked around to see if anyone was going to the wedding. The rabbi was unfamiliar with chosen and callah, however, he suggested I call the shaliach in Greensboro for two reasons. One, he might know someone driving from Charlotte who could bring it back for me in the evening and two, if I drive he may want something from the NC’s only kosher supermarket, Glieberman’s, which is located in Charlotte.
In the end the Shaliach didn’t know anyone traveling from Charlotte and although he requested milk, Glieberman’s wasn’t getting a new shipment till Tuesday.
Later in the afternoon I met up with Esti at the O’Henry Hotel in Greensboro and held my precious little shofar. Just before I headed back to Charlotte I blew the shofar in the hotel courtyard for Esti and another woman who hadn’t heard it yet. When I opened my eyes I looked down and there was a little girl standing there with a horrid look on her face.
“What are you doing? What is that,” she said almost franticly.
“It’s a shofar,” I responded not knowing if that would satisfy her curiosity.
“What –What is that! What are you doing!” she yelled out again extremely pained.
“You blow into it,” I replied.
I then noticed the girl’s mother a few feet away with a big grin on her face. She was obviously embarrassed but also found the situation amusing.
The little girl looked almost traumatized so I tried one more time to explain.
“It’s a rams horn,” I said, unfortunately not making a difference.
I must say, southern hospitality was widespread but I guess there’s still a few people who have never seen a Jewish horn.
Thank you Facebook for being there when i needed you. Even though i get emails from you for events i’ll never go to you let real life friends put words into actions.