The car rolled over and over and in it the family and "my bat mitzvah girl" were slammed about. They all were miraculously alive when the vehicle came to a halt, two girls would require surgery and "my" recent bat mitzvah girl would be in a deep, unresponsive coma. Watching the parents, who deserved trauma care themselves, going from room to room of their wounded children, even these five years later, brings a rush of tears to my eyes.
Looking back, I remember my love for that congregation I served for almost ten years, and for this particular family. The anxiety and hopelessness grew huge in me, as to my eye, the hospital staff, hour by hour, appeared to be giving up on her. It was a series of days I shall also always remember, because it was when my intellectual and cultural understanding of Judaism was no longer enough. It was the first time I truly prayed, many years after graduating as a "trained rabbi."