Humans of New York is one of the few social media accounts that both has over 11 million followers, and a consistent, heartwarming, positive comments section. The owner of the account, whom I know only as Brandon (I’m sure he has a last name somewhere), finds and showcases human beings whom we discover are both completely ordinary and astonishingly special. He takes their pictures and writes up their stories in their own words. Sometimes, he writes these as multiple parts in a series, dropping them slowly and carefully over a day or two like a long-awaited dessert.
Tali is a super chatty middle-aged Sephardic Israeli woman who drove me to the airport on my recent trip to Israel. Her parents are Moroccan, and she recently traveled with them to Morocco for a visit. She told me that the Muslims in Morocco are so wonderful, kind and hospitable – they literally keep their doors open for guests. There is a reverent relationship from the Moroccan monarchy to the Jewish people, such that every Yom Kippur, at Neilah, the king comes himself to the Jewish synagogue to ask the congregants for a blessing. This is a tradition that has been practiced for years, passed down in the monarchy from father to son.
The air is cooler, softer. There are new starts, new school supplies, new shoes and haircuts (and backpacks and socks and hair accessories). “First day of second grade!” my social media accounts proclaim. The new season blows in the the new Jewish year. Lots of firsts.
It used to be my embarrassing secret, like a schoolgirl who didn’t actually do her homework. Everyone would be talking about their turkeys, and guest lists, and leftovers, and I’m over here shopping for Shabbos dinner. After a number of years my husband would go buy some smoked turkey and have some on Thursday just so he could tell people he had his Thanksgiving turkey.