As I sit in prayer eighteen days from marriage, I am keenly aware of my left hand. This morning, as each of my weekday morning prayer experiences since age twelve, my left hand is wrapped in the black leather straps of my t’fillin. Since December, nine months ago, I have pondered the juxtaposition of these straps with the engagement ring on my fourth finger as they simultaneously symbolize my betrothal to my soul-mate and to my God.
And this, of course, is my life-long juxtaposition: On one hand, wholehearted commitment to my marriage and one day (God willing) a family, while on the other hand committing my whole self to my holy work. To let the fingers of these intertwine, to have the courage to see them as only one hand, is to let them genuinely and lovingly become one path: to aspire to true balance and harmony between family and service.
As t’fillin are worn on the non-dominant hand so as to strengthen a part of us that is weaker, so too may my awareness every day of my left hand, with each of the commitments and separate promises its adornment represents, serve to strengthen my resolve as I aspire to balance between my new married life and my new position as cantor. May they each be life-long.