Stories from the Kadishim

Contiuing the commemoration of the 10 anniversay of dad passing away here is a piece I wrote about a month after dad died about what had happened.

From phil phillips photo archive

Cab Launch at Heathrow Airport 1970's photo taken for Taxi Magazine by Phil Phillips


Stories from the Kadishim


from phil phillips photo archive

Cab in 1970's by dad.

Following some of the instructions dad gave me

over the years for things I had to do in mourning

his loss has truely been an interesting


It is a long long time since I have been involved

in so much overt religious practice, and am

understanding it far better than I did before.

So having sought out a tutor in the rituals I had

to perform for dad I went with Jet to her Boss

David’s home to have my lesson in Laining Tefilim

which I hadn’t done since my Bar mitzvah test in

1978, David and his son Yu’av (sp?) who is at

yeshiva (Bible School) in Jerusalem and home on

holiday did a great job of explaining it all to

me, and also explaining the different periods of

mourning and the different things I am meant to


I then spent one week laining Tefilim every

morning before leaving home, so that I had bound

the wounds of my loss as I wraped the leather

strap 7 times around my arm and then bound up my

hand in the shape of W (The Hebrew Letter not a


I have also being going to Shul

(Synagogue/Temple) on Sabbath with Mum and for

the first two weeks my brother Andrew and his

family, on the first of the services we attended

after the shiva week was completed I was given

Hagbahah to perform, in preference over my elder

brother only because I had read the eulogy at the


Well I haven’t done this since I used to go the

the childrens service as a kid, So I went onto

the Bimah and got to raise the sefer Torah (the

scrolls) from the Bimah and show them to the

congregation before having them wrapped and

having to sit and hold them while the Boy who was

getting bar mitzva’ed sang his haphtorah piece

and then as is tradition we got pelted with

sweets, I can’t remember the last time I was

bombed with sweets from the ladies gallery and

had no way to even avoid them while holding the

Torah in my arms, then I had to stand up and the

Rabbi said some special prayers for dad while I

held the torah, after which the service continued

as normal as I handed the torah over to the Rev,

and then took the sweets I was given and followed

the torah to the ark. I am getting better at

saying the various Kaddishes throughout the

service, although still feel a little under

pressure to get them right.

Last Sabbath I had to open the ark for Anim

Zemirot which meant that I had to recite the

final kadish by the ark by the Rabbi and the

Reverend which was pretty nerve wracking as I

struggled to get the Hebrew right, it is not an

easy prayer to read with what it makes me feel


It is very strange going to Shul again on

Saturday mornings after so many years, as I find

myself far more attentive now sitting reading the

passage each week from the Five Books of Moses

and the haphtorah from the other books of the old

testament. the stories are really interesting and

fascinating, I don’t remember the last time I

looked at a bible and now I am reading in the

Shul avidly and at the same time reading between

the lines and figuring out what they were saying,

pretty much nothing changes is the big message as

the fights and battles and hostilites of the

middle east continue today almost the same as

they did in biblical times, even got to read

about the Burning Bush this week, while we have a

Burning Bush who acts like a god and talks down

to the people while New York and Afghanistan

burned away.

The nicest part of going however is how nice

everyone has been and how concerned and helpful,

I know Mum is very well regarded in the community

for all that she has done over the years, and so

it is really good to see everyone rallying round

and doing there best to make mum feel better and

to help us out, we have been out to lunch and are

invited out again this week, although I will be

missing as the first and most important month of

mourning comes to a close this week, when I will

finally be able to shave again and reduce most of

my beard back down to how it was before only with

the addition of side burns for the coming year,

not sure how big or what shape yet though will

decide with Jet before the big Shave at the end

of the week.

Dad I miss you so badly, but doing as you

requested has certainly helped to make me feel a

little bit better than I did, I will do my utmost

to honour the other requests during the rest of

my life as and when the time is appropriate.

from phil phillips photo archive

Cab going up whitehall past the guards!!


About simonovitch

Writer poet music freak etc etc based in London you'll find out more by reading my blogs.
This entry was posted in poetry, Poetry and the Taxi trade and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Stories from the Kadishim

  1. Haley Machey says:

    Keep up the great work, I read few blog posts on this internet site and I think that your website is really interesting and has got bands of great info.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s