Some more thoughs about Arona

Last night, I was thinking many thoughts about Arona. I was especially thinking about the time we spent together designing her tallit.  The process took place over a few years. The first part took place just before Arona married Lou. She wanted a new atara for her old but beloved eyelet tallit. She had made that tallit in the early 1970's.

By the time I began to work on the tallit,  while it was filled with memories and meaning, it was also fairly grotty. A few years later, Arona and Lou travelled to Central America. There, Arona purchased a really beautiful high quality length of eyelet. Arona was ready for me to turn that length of eyelet into a tallit for her.

We looked at many texts together. On a hunch, I suggested  the following prayer. It is often taught to very young children.

My God
the soul that you have given within me
is pure
You created it
You wrought it
You have inflated it within me
and You watch over it within me
and You in the future will remove it from me
to return it within me in the future to come
all the time that the soul is within me
I give thanks to you my God and God of my ancestors
Greater than all of the actions
Master of all of the souls

In Hebrew, the word for soul and the word for breath, are the same. Yes, you can re read the prayer sub stituting the word breath for soul. Arona chose the  " You" statemets for her pinot/corner pieces/

-You created
-You wrought
-You have inflated
-You watch over

After she chose the text, Arona told me that she had lung cancer.  She talked about how that prayer seemed so powerful while she was struggling  with the breath inside her body.  I also thought about the next phrase  in the prayer, about the soul being removed from the body. I didn't bring it up.

Arona asked me not to tell anyone aout her cancer.   I didn't.

I keep thinking about Arona using that tallit, with those words on the corners.

Yehi zichra barukh - May her memory be a blessing


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