In a Bind

“Here are the firestone and the wood; but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” (Genesis 22: 7)

God will provide, God will provide, I keep telling myself, as I make my 24th phone call of the day in search of a shofar blower for our minyan. It is erev Rosh Hashanah, and I should be washing my floor (long overdue) or making one of the four fruit salads I pledged to bring to the various people who invited me for meals (initially it seemed like a good idea – but how to shop for four fruit salads? And what ma’achelet will be fit for all that chopping?) – but instead, I am sitting at my desk calling everyone I know. “Hi, I’m sorry to bother you just before Rosh Hashanah – but I was wondering – do you know anyone who blows shofar?” At this point I feel like a broken (shvarim) record, repeating myself again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again (t’rua) but what can I do except cry (or was it groan?) “Heeeeeeeeeelp!” (t’kia). We have the whole minyan organized – the chairs are set up, the kiddish is bought, the daveners are lined up – but where is the ba’al tokea? If you are out there, scratching your innocent behind against the brambles, please make yourself known!

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