As I rounded Chicago Avenue and took a left turn onto Arnold Ave. late this afternoon I was taken aback by a large group of Yeshiva boys walking briskly down the block from the train station toward the beach. I don’t recall having seen a scene like that before in Pt. Pleasant Beach, a veritable pilgrimage heading in the direction of our lake.
It was a beautiful evening, so we left the screen door open to the deck as we ate dinner at nightfall. And then we began hearing music from across the lake, faintly at first but building toward a crescendo. I strained my eyes to see the figures across the way, and sure enough it was a handful of the Yeshiva boys encountered a few hours ago, now streaming live from the lake.
What they were singing was unmistakable, and apropos to their location:
This would be our last evening here for awhile before heading out to Arizona for our Fall mini-sabbatical, and then a significant shift in life upon our return. Our plan at present, rapidly crystalizing and to be finalized by the time we get back, is to begin a new chapter of providing specialized, collaborative vision care in the Lakewood area for the orthodox Jewish community. In certain respects this will be coming full circle to my Yeshiva days in high school in Philadelphia, a feeder school for Lakewood. I thought about that when we lit the Yahrzeit candle last week for my role model, Dr. Israel E. Press who died on the second day of Sukkot three years ago. And tonight I had a brief but distinct feeling that my departed father’s soul sent those boys to serenade us. If so, Dad, amen to that omen.