By Al Maimon
In the depths of the pandemic, it has been a while since I’ve shared experiences and thoughts.
On the one hand, I’ve certainly had a lot of time; on the other hand, I have been and continue to be bombarded with a constant flow (flood) of information and opinion about what’s going on all around us (my father used to say “on the other hand, she wore a glove” or “on the other hand, she had a wart”).
It has had a paralyzing effect on me.
Don’t get me wrong,
I’m very active “ZOOMing”/ WhatsApping/ Skyping/ FaceTimeing/Facebook/ YouTube/Vimeo... My day fills up without even trying the plethora of other things. This is in addition to “old fashioned” means of communication. But, I’m mostly reactive and tactical.
With this note, though, permit me to share a more strategic perspective on a very important piece of our responsibility and opportunity in this place and time.
This past year, my uncle, Rabbi Solomon Maimon, after celebrating his 100th birthday, passed away. I am still coping with the loss, partly, still in denial. In observing the various meldados, during the anyo, we are beginning to scratch the surface of memorializing him and making room in our lives for him to help us to improve our lives.
He so “filled up the room” in his own right - his personality, dedication and energy. And he was so much a bridge between our past, our present and our future. Losing him, we have also lost another strong thread to those who passed before him. How can we continue, on our own, to “do our job” of forging our link on the chain of Jewish continuity?
As I have struggled with that, earlier this year, local producer/director David Raphael passed away. He was a brilliant, sensitive and powerful personality, in general, and for our community. We were blessed that he “found us” about 50 years ago. He found a “jewel” in time and space. As he and his family joined the community, he recorded our members and community, creating The Song of the Sephardi and other productions. We owe him and his family such a debt of gratitude. SKED, as a community we will find the way to pay tribute to him and memorialize his loss.
So, why am I writing this now? Luci Varon recently shared with me a link to something “she found by accident” that inspired me to partly acknowledge the loss of Rabbi Maimon and David Raphael in a constructive way. The link is to a video based on David’s work, featuring Rabbi Maimon and including a vision of the “old timers” celebrating occasions together, singing and dancing and praying together.
My bottom line for this rambling is a strong recommendation that you view this link with open eyes and an open heart and use it to work through what and how you think we take this and together continue to more strongly forge our link in the chain of growing the Sephardic experience in Seattle in time and in an authentic way for future generations to be able to “do their job.”
Thank you for listening. Saludozos para todos!