Indian Yom Kippur

Why is my roommate amazing? We were on our way home and there was an older man who seemed like he was struggling to walk. We waited for a moment (we were in the car) and he was having trouble breathing; if he was drunk we were going to leave, if not we would help. Manoj got out of the car to see what was wrong. Apparently he was working but then went to the hospital and didn’t have enough money for full treatment and they asked him to leave with partial treatment. He was trying to get to the bus station by foot. He showed signs of an asthma attack. He needed to get home which was around 4 hours from Pune. We dropped him at the bus stop and as we were telling the bus driver that he wasn’t well and asking him to look after him, he proceeded to kick him off the bus. His excuse was what if something happens to him on the way, who would take responsibility? He didn’t want to be responsible. Both of us were shocked. He finally agreed that if someone would watch over him on the bus he would take him. We spoke to one man on the bus who said ok but when we put the old man back on the bus, he was immediately kicked off again. Manoj and I were in awe at people’s inability to be nice to be someone. We argued with them for a while and called the man a bad man, the bus driver obtuse. I argued that they shouldn’t take anyone on the bus. What if something happened to him? It was awful. The old man felt bad. We put him on another bus and walked away. We didn’t say anything that time but when the bus pulled off he wasn’t on it. Apparently he vomited. We tried to get him on another bus but he said he would take the train at 10pm. Were we swindled? We don’t know. But we did it with good intentions and Manoj fought for him the whole time. I don’t know many people who would do that. It was valiant.
That same day I did a full day meditation at the Vipassana center about 10 km from my house. It wasn’t the same. I found it very difficult but a part of the teachings include not getting frustrated with obstacles. I have to accept them. What was very beneficial from the day was that I found out they have kids classes the first Sunday of every month. Next week we’re bringing a few of our kids and I’m brining some of work kids as well. I’m very excited for this.
Other goings on…I went to a conservative Jewish temple for Yom Kippur tonight. It was kind of by accident and very much for the experience. My friend Daniel invited me and I accepted. It was interested. I don’t think I’ve been to a synagogue since my Bat Mitzva and I would rarely identify myself as Jewish. I usually explain how in my blood I’m Jewish but don’t do anything Jewish. Anyway, it was interesting. Everyone was in white. I was in a maroon skirt with a green shirt. Everyone was very nice. It was also a Safardic Conservative temple. I went to an Ashkenazi Reform temple. When I went back in the evening for the blowing of the shofar I met Daniel’s mother. After the service I got to speak about his grandmother whom I also met. Daniel’s grandmother goes on my list of amazing people who I’ve met in my life. When she was 16 years in Burma, during the second world war, she was coming home from school and told her grandmother that she saw silver falling from the sky. They were bombs. With her sister and grandmother, they walked from Burma to Assam in India. At that time it was all one country. Her uncle and cousins were taken captive by the Japanese and then released once the war was over. Her two cousins were two of the first children of Israel after the war. They were children of the state. She walked at the age of 16 from Burma! I’m completely amazed.

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