How sweet it is to be home for Yom Kippur. It’s, by far, one of my most favorite things. And I am no masochist, I just love the feeling of an empty stomach and a fuller heart. I love to know that I am walking from my home in Rome to the main synagogue where I will see friends of a life time ago, exchange a smile with the Rabbi who I studied with when I was very young and feel the vibration of the religious chants inside the temple where all the men will be covered with their white tallits and their colorful kippots.
Not to mention the feeling I experience walking about the old Roman Ghetto where every single person I shake hands and wish Katima` Tova`recognizes me and asks about my family. Yom Kippur in Rome is home for me. For all the months spent in Israel, for all the time spent abroad in the U.S., when I spent this holiday in the place where all the other Roman Jews have done it for several decades, I feel a sense of peace hard to describe with words.
During the beracha of Nehila` when the Koanim stand in front of the Teva` blessing us, the people, I felt this overwhelming feeling of luck we have all been blessed with in my family this year.
Despite the death of one grandfather, we have been able to save the other and to have nothing, but health in the family, while for the past three years, we have had a whole lot of miss-happening that had made me doubt a possible positive ending.
So, at the end of the night, when the Rabbi blew the shofar, in one big thrust, all my guilt toward myself and others, disappeared and all my hope, believe and positive attitude flourished once again.
I am charged now, so charged I think I may not need any more battery charing for a very long time.
This year is my year. This year is the beginning of the rest of my life. This year I will have a solo exhibit and a book published that started from daily adventure in the Brooklyn street and a four-month heavenly vacation in Israel and, who knows what would come from there.
HATIMA VE SHANA TOVA to you all !!!