Josh Goes to Services

Josh Ring

1.   I was walking down the hallway of my dorm to get to my room. One of my hallmates passed me. I said hello to him. He grabbed me by the arm and said, "You're coming to services tonight, Josh, right?" I looked at him for a second before I answered that I would. "Good. I'll meet you here at six." I took my watch out of my pocket and checked the time. I had plenty of time. I thought about what I wanted to do that night. There was a movie that I promised my friend I would go to with. I had promised him the day before. I figured I could do both.

2.   I was walking around the hallway at around 5:45. The same hallmate was in the hall and asked me if I was almost ready. I said that I just wanted to change. I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. My friend said that there would be people dressed more casually than I was dressed. I said that I knew that, but I still wanted to wear something a little bit nicer. I thought it would be more appropriate.

3.   I went into my room and started to change. I put on khaki pants and a collared shirt. As I slid my belt through the belt loops I looked out the window. It was getting dark. I looked at the clock on my windowsill and began to fasten my belt as quickly as possible. I picked up the jeans I had been wearing, to get my keys and wallet out of my pockets. I put my keys in my left pocket, but held my wallet in my hand. I wasn't sure if I wanted to bring my wallet to services. On one hand, it had my ID card which electronically unlocked the door to my dorm, but on the other hand it had $43 in it. I didn't feel comfortable carrying money to services. Then I thought that it shouldn't be a problem because I carry money with me on Saturdays all the time without even thinking about it. But there seemed to be something different about carrying money to services, something wrong. I didn't want people to see the wallet bulge in my pocket even though I knew that most of the people that would be there would have money in their pockets, too. Still I kept on raising and lowering my wallet as if I were weighing it, instead of my options. I looked at the clock again and realized that I didn't have time to think about this anymore. My eye caught my reflection in the mirror as I looked back at my hand and wallet. I got mad at myself for being so confused about what I should do. I took all the money out of my wallet and put it in my underwear drawer underneath some pairs of underwear. I slammed the drawer shut, put my wallet in my pocket, and left my room. My hallmate had already left.

4.   I walked to where the campus services were held. On the way I met other people walking to the same place. Some of them were dressed casually. Others were wearing skirts and blouses. We all walked together. The wind was blowing hard. The girls in skirts had to hold their skirts down. I had to squint my eyes to protect them from the wind.

5.   When we walked inside the campus Jewish chapel, I sat down in one of the chairs. I saw my hallmate there. We waved to each other. The services began. They had a lot of singing, but more English than I was used to. After the services they served dinner: challah, chicken, potato mushroom casserole, salad, and some cake for dessert. I could've stayed longer, but I had to go meet my friend for the movie and I had to stop back at my dorm room to get the money out of my underwear drawer.

More by Josh Ring:

Josh's Jewish Reminders November, 2003

Josh's Dinner in the Cafeteria October, 2003

Josh Tells a Bedtime Story August, 2003

Josh Graduates High School July, 2003

Josh Gets Contacts June, 2003

Josh Gets his Checkup May, 2003

Josh Plays the Sitar April, 2003

Josh Goes to Prague March, 2003

Josh Visits the Holocaust Museum February, 2003

The Subway January, 2003

Josh Ring Gets a Ride November, 2002

A Cold Front Was Supposed to be Moving In October, 2002

Dogs August, 2002

Josh Ring Supports Israel June, 2002

Josh Ring's Track Meet May, 2002

December 2003

"We are Seriously Concerned
About the Fate of
the State of Israel"

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Are the Ten
Carved in Stone?

Joel Shurkin

Run Like the Wind
Dan Friedman &
Jay Michaelson

Temima Fruchter

Fleeing Edges
Noam Mor

Josh Goes to Services
Josh Ring

Our 400 Back Pages

David Stromberg

Zeek in Print
Fall 03 issue now on sale

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From previous issues:

Not Mentioned
Hal Sirowitz

I Wish I Was...
Harbeer Sandhu

When I Met Humility, I Saw Letters
Abraham Mezrich