Children of G-d and Children of Men

S.B. spent several hours in shul with me on each day of ראש השנה (supplied with ample provisions and certain plastic trucks and related equipment). On the second day, I was honored with מפטיר and the הפטרה. S. accompanied me, and about halfway through my reading of the הפטרה, I felt a small, round object placed into my hand. It was a clementine, which S. had apparently handed to me in a wordless supplication that I peel it for him, my being rather preoccupied notwithstanding. I continued to read the הפטרה, trying, not entirely successfully, to stifle my chuckles at the incongruity of the situation – and then I arrived at the passage’s profoundly stirring conclusion, which I read with newfound insight and appreciation:

הֲבֵן יַקִּיר לִי אֶפְרַיִם, אִם יֶלֶד שַׁעֲשֻׁעִים–כִּי-מִדֵּי דַבְּרִי בּוֹ, זָכֹר אֶזְכְּרֶנּוּ עוֹד; עַל-כֵּן, הָמוּ מֵעַי לוֹ–רַחֵם אֲרַחֲמֶנּוּ, נְאֻם-יְקוָק.1

  1. ירמיה לא:יט []