On Friday night, services at my synagogue were packed. There were a number of Bar and Bat Mitzvah families, and it was First Grade Shabbat, so all of those kids and their families were there. We pretty much ran out of seats in the sanctuary. That's a lot of people.
My wonderful husband decided to bring Sam and Yael to services. They are not huge fans of sitting still, and they don't quite get why they can't come up on the bima with Ima, so they don't usually make it through much of the service. But practice makes perfect, right?
So, about 3/4 of the way through the service, they were hanging out in the lobby with Abba. The doors were closed to the sanctuary, but a well-meaning friend let Sam into the sanctuary. She never imagined what he would do next.
Holding a whole apple in his hand, taking bites as he walked down the center aisle, Sam walked right up to the bima and came right up to ME as I was leading the congregation in the prayer for healing. It's a relatively solemn moment in the service, people are thinking about their loved ones who are ill or seeking healing. But Sam came right up to me and I must admit, I was trying really hard not to laugh!
Since I basically ignored him (I put my hand on his head, but tried not to look since I knew I would totally crack up), he went and sat on the top step of the bima. He was totally unfazed by the number of people. He just kept munching on his apple.
As soon as we were finished with the prayer, I went to scoop him up and take him out. But then the other rabbi stopped me. He said, "Sam, thanks for coming in - you are the perfect illustration of what's going on here tonight..." and he proceeded to talk about our "Green Initiative" - we're serving whole fruit instead of cut fruit as part of it, and, it just so happened, Sam was also wearing a bright green shirt. When he mentioned Sam's apple, Sam obligingly held it up for everyone to see. I tell you, the kid is a (kosher) ham.
I'm so glad to know that my children aren't shy.