Metropolitan Diary is one of my favorite New York Times columns - it chronicles fun vignettes and snippets of conversation heard and seen around New York City. I always regretted not submitting my own crazy story, but eventually I noticed that many of the featured stories are indeed recollections of long-ago events that have stuck with people.
In a sweltering August more than 25 years ago, on a long subway ride with no seat available, I stood holding onto a rail. With my free hand I held up my Hebrew Torah text.
In the early ’80s it was still somewhat novel for women to chant from the Torah. My husband, then a young rabbi, had recruited me to chant all the Torah readings for the High Holy Day pulpit he had signed on for in Texas. And, indeed, preparing all that chanting was a Texas-size task!
As I mumbled along, singsonging the ancient words, I glanced up and saw an Orthodox Jewish man doing precisely the same thing. Our nanosecond of bonding was followed by the fellow’s look of extreme confusion, as he quickly refocused his eyes on his text.
The poor guy. I often wonder: Did he tell anyone of this moment of worlds colliding?