I can’t believe I almost let someone tell my child that he can’t. Without knowing if my child was able to or not, she wanted to halt his desire to try something new. What if I had allowed her to make that decision for me? What if I had allowed her thoughts to dictate what my child can and cannot do? Had I allowed her that right, my son would be missing a part of him that has come to define his spirituality and passion for tradition.
At the age of 9, my son took it upon himself to learn an ancient instrument that has never been played in our home. With much practice and determination, he perfected the sounds that come from this magical and mystical instrument. He went on to play this instrument in front of 100’s of students and parents every holiday season. As he closed his eyes and played, I felt him take on the prayers of those around him and send them to the heavens. I often found myself moved to tears as I watched him embrace this tradition.
This year, my son had a new opportunity. As the holidays approached, our thoughts were with a young friend who was unable to leave the house. In wanting to bring this blessing to her and her family, we offered to play for her in her home. We soon realized how many people are unable to hear this holy instrument during the holidays. We knew we needed to make ourselves available to them as well.
And so we traveled around town, answering requests for a private moment of prayer. My two boys walked the halls of rehabilitation centers and private homes, and met with complete strangers who wanted a moment of solace amidst their loneliness and pain. With pride I watched as my boys took it upon themselves to act as vessels for the angels to connect with as many people as possible.
We were particularly moved by the opportunity to meet a beautiful woman, who wanted to hear my son play. It was the first time in almost 95 years that she was unable to make it to services for the holidays, but there was no reason she could not hear the sound of this powerful instrument. Everyone in the room was moved to tears as generations were bridged over the sound of the angles calling. And it was in that moment that I knew I would never let someone tell my child that he CAN’T.