The Margalit Journey: Our Family’s Unique Jewish Lifecycle

 

 

“At first there was really nothing unique about my story.  I was a 40-year-old single woman living in San Francisco with a successful career and great friends. I had always wanted a family of my own but love was not coming easy and my chances of having children of my own seemed slim. Feeling like my faith and belief were being tested, I asked to speak alone with Cantor Attie. I looked to her for spiritual guidance in hopes that it would lift me through the pain of disappointment. We sat in her office and talked for a long time. While nothing was ‘fixed’ it felt so good to be heard by someone I admire so much. Little did I know that in short succession life’s disappointments seemed to evaporate.

On the evening of February 27, 2014, I got a call from my mother asking me to fly home quickly to be by my father’s bedside after his long struggle with multiple myeloma. I could not get a flight out that evening so instead of going home alone to my apartment, I chose to be around friends at a Happy Hour held at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown San Francisco. It was that night when I met Nir, my B’Sherit, my husband, my life-partner to be. He told me he was born in Israel sparking a long conversation about all that we have in common. I flew home the next day, with a hopeful lightness in my heart along with a heaviness knowing that my father would likely soon pass. My father recovered long enough to meet Nir a few months later but he sadly passed away one week before our wedding.

Nir and I were married on a beautiful day in July at a friend’s winery with Cantor Marsha Attie honoring us in a ceremony under the Chuppah. The miracles continued and in the coming years Marsha gave Hebrew names to not one, but to two daughters—the light of our lives.

Cantor Attie, like a thread, has been there to stitch together and be witness to our succession of beginnings and now endings. My mother-in-law, Dina, is now in hospice care in our home. In our efforts to make her final days meaningful, we have filled our home with music—songs that bring Dina back to her childhood growing up in a small town in Israel called Nesher. Songs like Jerusalem of Gold move her to tears. She remembers the War of Independence and how songs brought healing and joy to the Nation. Marsha has been with us in our home through this time bringing her voice, wisdom, and grace filling our home with song and peace.

Ten years later, I feel very differently about my story which has become a story of our family’s unique Jewish lifecycle. We have experienced miracle after miracle. But luckily the story will not be ending here. As members of Temple Emanu-El, our beautiful girls, Jessie (age 6) and Lillian (age 3) will grow with the Temple community. Jessie, our oldest, began Sunday school this year and we look forward to our daughters’ b’nei Mitzvah and Jewish learnings with Cantor Attie there to witness our family’s unique Jewish lifecycle.”