I was offered the chance to lead Ma’ariv (the evening service) in shul (synagogue) tonight. In my old shul I used to do that a lot and got a bit of a buzz from it (albeit that I felt guilty about ‘showing off’), but I hadn’t been asked in the three years that I’ve lived in this area. I assumed everyone had me down as not knowledgeable and/or religious enough, given how little I get to shul because of the depression and social anxiety, so I was surprised to be asked. However, I panicked and turned it down, which I feel bad about, as I may never get asked again now. I really need to do something about my social anxiety, as not only did I turn down Ma’ariv today, but I avoided shul this morning because of it.
The shiur (religious class) today during seudah shlishit (the third Shabbat (Sabbath) meal) at shul reinforced my feelings that I’m barely even treading water at the moment regarding Judaism. The idea was that not only is it important to to the right actions, but one has to be on the right path too. Otherwise one can end up doing the right thing, but in the wrong place. I don’t have a clue what path I should be on, or what that would even mean in terms of my life.
A weird thing happened during Ma’ariv. At one point I just stopped and realised that the top of the letter tzaddi looks like two horns (צ). This reminded of the Midrash where Aharon (Aaron) is afraid to become High Priest, as the horns of the altar look like the horns of a calf, reminding him of his role in the Golden Calf. He has to be reassured by Moshe (Moses) that HaShem (God) has forgiven him. I stopped for about minute (which is quite a long time) thinking about this, unable to go on. I’m not quite sure what my unconscious was trying to tell me, but I guess it may be related to being asked to lead Ma’ariv.
Weird mind thing number two: this morning I dreamt about the twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) telling me, “Whatever you do, be a Doctor” which may mean that my unconscious wants me to do a PhD. Or it may mean that I’ve been watching too much Doctor Who (got one full season and one special episode (= thirteen episodes) left of my epic re-watch of all surviving TV Doctor Who from its creation in 1963). (Also, Clara told the Doctor to “Be a Doctor” and not a warrior when she was killed, but I’m not sure how that fits in.)