Sunday, January 08, 2006
From Baghdad to L.A.
Our congregation had a bit of a treat yesterday. Honored with an aufruf was the soon-to-be grandson-in-law of a longtime member. This particular chatan (bridegroom) served ten months in Iraq, during which he had the privilege of celebrating Chanukah - and lighting a chanukiah (eight-branched chanukah candleabra) in Saddam Hussein's presidential palace. According to this op-ed, his grandfather was once in one of Saddam's prisons as well. Wild stuff.
When he was called to the Torah, he not only recited the blessings, but read the Torah himself (with the proper cantillation, of course). When he was done and a shower of Sunkist candies rained forth upon him, he didn't even flinch. I have a feeling he's been under heavier fire than that (although what he was doing in Iraq exactly is a bit unclear to me).
I had a chance to speak with him and thank him for his service. He was very self-effacing and gracious. He said not to believe the news reports. It's tough over there, he said, but what's happening is really a miracle.
I think I might have a bit of a man-crush on him.
I've known his fiancee for a few years. I missed synagogue yesterday but would sure liked to have shaken his hand. Maybe we can get him to do a guest post!Post a Comment