Tested By A Smell
Our prayers extended beyond the official closing moment of Yom Kippur. We were in a different dimension, a place beyond time. Heaven? I don’t know, but there was this smell wafting through the air, and for people who have been fasting for twenty- five hours, the smell was definitely heavenly. We assumed that the smell of fresh baked medialunas was just part of the heaven experience. (God prefers Argentines, so it had to be medialunas, and not the lowly croissant.) The problem was that we all began sniffing the air: “Forgive us!” Sniff. “Hear our prayers!” Sniff. “Don’t close the gates!” Sniff. It was a strange heavenly experience. Was God testing us? Was He challenging us to maintain our concentration despite the heavenly fragrance?
When we finished our prayers and stepped toward the Break the Fast Table celebrating our Yom Kippur accomplishments (See “Poof! It was Gone.) we realized that the medialunas were heavenly, but the one testing us was not God, but Debbie. She wanted our Break the Fast to parallel the Kohen Gadol’s post Yom Kippur party, so she placed a few dozen of her treats into the oven the minute the day was officially over.
Everyone was so happy with the medialunas that they forgave her challenge of Neilah fragrances, everyone, that is, except for me! I can’t eat them. I had to eat gluten free cookies while everyone else was devouring a heavenly treat. Alas! Poor me.
Debbie had a different take on the experience when I complained: “Stop complaining!While everyone else was smelling medialunas, you were smelling the “Rei’ach Nichoa’ch,” the sweet smell of your prayers rising to heaven!”
If only my prayers had such a sweet fragrance…
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