Lumbar Lady

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m bothered, still, by something that happened on Yom Kippur. I’d
gotten to synagogue late on Rosh Hashanah and ended up sitting in a
metal folding chair with my bad back. I spent two days flat on it after.
So I planned ahead and got there for Kol Nidre as early as I could to
get a seat in a pew, and even saw one solo one in a padded row. As I
slid my lumbar cushion down a woman glared at me and said I wanted
that. I pointed to my back and said it was a medical necessity. She
glared and moved away but I could feel daggers aimed at me all
through services. Is this just a guilty conscience I can pray away or
should I do more? She’s a real loudmouth and I don’t want to be on
her list of evildoers who need to be punished.

Lumbar Lady

Dear Lumbar Lady:

High Holiday services are supposed to bring out the best in people but
sometimes we all fall short of the mark. While your reasons for
needing the seat are legit, the interaction doesn’t seem to have been
effective. She might have had just as great a need but been silent;
hat could account for the glares. Or she may have just wanted a
squishy seat near friends. If, BTW, your shul doesn’t have any alter-
abled seats reserved, suggest it in the future.

Get her address form the directory and send her a lovely card with a
sincere hand-written note. Explain that you may not have
communicated your appreciation for her graciousness well enough
given the pre-service tumult. Assure her that you had strong medical
reasons for needing the seat and that you’ve taken steps to ensure
that the shul has more alter-abled seats available next year, during
the nights when numbers swell. Thank her again. Then pop it in the
mail and out of your head. Let it go with the bread you cast upon the
waters. When you see her next, smile from a polite distance.