Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Sometime during this long, long flight, I woke up in the silence of the plane, and started to stretch. But I hadn't even gotten my arms over my head when I was struck with a strange and eerie sight.

All along the aisles of the craft, spaced about every 3-5 rows, were men, wearing their prayer shawls and t'fillen, davening the morning prayers. The windowshades were down, but I could see just a crack of sunlight at the bottom of some. As my eys cleared, I saw some women, too, bodies rocking gently as they mouthed the words from old books.

It was completely silent, and I almost felt guilty for watching. But soon, some of the men finished, and started putting their ritual objects away, and other people began to stir.

I was in a world of Jews; a world of religious people; a world where prayer happens regardless of what time it is at home and what time it is in Jerusalem. It's light outside the windows; the sun has, for all intents and purposes, risen.

We weren't anywhere near Israel yet, but at that moment, I thought we were already there.

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