Saturday MorningMature

A young Jewish student in London suddenly finds herself not in the synagogue on Saturday morning.

'Baruch atah, adonay...'

Baruch atah indeed, thought Rose. Here I am, in a synagogue in London, on Shabbat morning. Who'd have known?

Rose, Rosa, or Reizele, was sitting on the second floor of the synagogue with the other women, looking down at the cantor who was just finishing his prayer. She murmured 'Amen' together with the other visitors this morning and started to look around at her fellows in worship. The women were all neat, some of them (the married ones) wearing little hats or wigs, all of them dressed in exceptionally smart, modest clothing - flat shoes, stockings, long skirts, blouses buttoned up all the way. Rose stuck out like a sore thumb in her boho dark blue maxi skirt, the small white blouse which she wore in the restaurant where she worked, and wide light blue scarf which covered her collarbone in a way her blouse failed to do. Instead of the comfortable black leather shoes that adorned most of the other ladies' little feet, she was wearing Chuck Taylors. It wasn't surprising that the other women looked around at her with curiosity and some scorn in their eyes, and she looked back at them rebelliously. Still, Reizele was 100% Jewish on both sides of her family, and she had come to worship God, just like they had. Well, actually, she hadn't come to worship God. He didn't exist. She came for the tradition, so she tried to focus on that, rather than the other visitors.

The rabbi started to speak. He had written a sermon himself concerning how they, as Jews, should correctly practice our faith, without secluding themselves entirely from the rest of the world, and how theycould adapt to the changes in society. Changes in society? Society doesn't change, it's just the same lie told differently every day, Rose thought to herself. She closed her eyes for a moment, trying to visualize the figurative green fields the rabbi was predicting. Out of nowhere, a strange, futuristic car-like vehicle zoomed across her inner vision. Silly car, get out of my imagination, Rose told the car, and it disappeared.

Rose was satisfied with the poppies and daisies sprouting out of the ground for a minute. But her satisfaction wouldn't last. The poppies and daisies started to form unfamiliar patterns, which finally assumed a general likeness to buildings, and the rabbi's voice faded away, until Rose, finding herself unable to stop imagining, opened her eyes, and found that reality had become the way her imagination had just pictured it, and she turned to face a tall young man, who asked, in a voice which now wholly excluded the last sounds from the synagogue:

'May I see your public air permit, ma'am?'

The End

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