Fantastic Shaharit this morning. My dad led an experimental prayer service at the Seminary with one of his students: Berakhot, then yoga, Shema, silent meditation, Amidah and Aleinu. The yoga was done by one of Tateh’s students, who kept the poses simple and gentle enough for first-timers, while giving soft instructions that brought us back to the spirituality of what we were doing. The yoga and meditation were wonderful, and I found myself praying with renewed energy and intention as we went through the service. Such a wonderful way to start the day, and I think the students felt that as well.
But an added treat for me was that I really haven’t prayed Shaharit with Tateh since I was in eighth grade, and I miss it. When I was a kid, Shaharit was like brushing my teeth; I’d do anything to avoid it but couldn’t leave the house until I’d done it, and after my Bat Mitzvah, I exercised my new authority to avoid it as much as possible. Praying in college, I could always hear my dad’s voice in the back of my head, combating homesickness and giving me added incentive to pray, but over time, I’ve built up enough memories of praying on my own that it’s rarely there anymore. This morning, I kept feeling the warmth of the sunlight streaming through our living room windows in Princeton even down in the basement Beit Midrash, and it gave me such a feeling of peace.