Still I knew I had a lot to learn from Dennis and that his extraordinary “gift for gab” would make the service more entertaining than most. Besides, he promised to keep the whole thing mercifully short.
Well, he didn’t entirely keep that promise. Nevertheless, his non-stop commentary, particularly on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, stimulated a serious discussion about the existence of God in my hemi-semi-demi-agnostic family. I won’t go into it here — there are plenty of places to read about the creation of the universe more interesting than I could be and I’m already past 600 words. I want to get to another reason I fasted after Dennis put me in the mood.
The religious has always been close to the political for me. Although (mostly, depending on the day) I remain an agnostic (barely), I have always been a staunch Zionist. I’m certain that it stems from my childhood visits to my father’s medical office when I saw the numbers from Auschwitz tattooed on some of the nurses’ arms. Those numbers are seared indelibly in my mind. Perhaps they are now part of my DNA.
So today, on Yom Kippur, after having listened to Dennis a week ago, and with Ahmadinejad in New York, a man — some readers may recall — I encountered face-to-face in Geneva a few years ago at a United Nations gathering, I had no choice in my mind, body, and soul but to fast. “Never Again” is a serious matter to me.
Even though I’m a decent tennis player for a man my age, I’m way too old to volunteer with the Israeli Air Force to go after those despicable beasts, so the least I can do is affirm my identity as a Jew. I imagine I’ll be fasting next year too. Maybe I’ll even cancel my lesson with Omuta and go full bore.