Did you hear an echo?? Welcome back to our popular program Echoes of Elul. The echoes are pieces of work submitted by people just like you! They are thoughts, insights, and memories presented in writing, art, music, or poetry. As we prepare for the High Holy days, we put aside time for introspection and reflection. Shared insights help to open the hearts and minds of our TBS family as they engage in their own spiritual journey during the 29 days of Elul. We are still accepting echoes at this time.
Listen to Carol Kanofsky as she shares some of her cherished family memories on Day 1 of Echoes of Elul.
Both of my maternal grandparents were immigrants from Ukraine who met and married in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada in 1927. I was born two generations later. The small Jewish community’s traditional orthodox synagogue was constructed in the early 1900’s, and remained the place of worship in the community until a modern synagogue was built in the 1960’s.
As a little girl in the late 1950’s, I had the privilege of attending services with my mother, grandmother and aunt during the High Holy Days. This was a privilege not afforded my younger sister and two younger cousins, who stayed home with a babysitter. The women’s seating was in the upstairs gallery overlooking the bimah and the men were seated below.
The morning of Rosh Hashanah, I was very excited to dress in clothes befitting the New Year. I wore my nicest dress, black patent leather shoes, white cotton gloves and a beret on my head. We would arrive at shul and climb the stairs to the women’s section for the start of the service. My dad, uncle, and grandfather headed to their seats on the main floor. I can picture us all as we were back then, three generations of family, the elder passing on tradition to the younger.
My favorite memory of those High Holy Days is of my Grandma Sarah, whose kind and gentle ways always made her four granddaughters each believe that she was her favorite. Grandma’s purse, just an ordinary woman’s handbag, was a treasure trove of delight for a little girl, for inside were assorted candies in their shiny wrappers. She brought them just for me, even on Yom Kippur when the adults were fasting. That sweet memory has stayed with me always.
In these difficult and challenging times, may we be reminded of all that is sweet in our lives, and may we be blessed with a sweet New Year.