I’ve written about my grandmother before. She was a real individual. I really loved her. But that’s not the point of this post.
What really struck me on that outing was all the names on the stones. The boys, Andrew, and I would call out familiar names. We knew someone with most every name. Levy, Goldberg, Goldstein, Sapperstein, Stein, Erlanger, Smith, Zimmerman, Prager. I grew up in a very Jewish community. And the community has remained strong, increased in size and grown larger in geography. We live a half hour from where I grew up. And yet, the names and the connections are the same for many miles farther.
My children know the children of my old classmates and the grandchildren of my mother’s classmates. I don’t know why feeling connected to this makes me happy. But it does. I like being a part of it.
Just yesterday, I realized that the woman from sisterhood who was the Greeter with me at services last week is the sister of a guy I’ve known for years. I don’t know why I was surprised, really. It seems all the Jewish families are connected in some way around here.
Jewish Geography. Okay, ramble over.