Heirlooms are a funny thing to me. For the most part, old things are bad. My shoes for example. I just bought some new shoes last week because my old ones were in such bad shape that I would get blisters just by wearing them.
Yet for some crazy reason, some objects, they get better with age. I’m not talking wine here. I’m talking things that are actually in worse practical shape than they were when they were first bought, yet we consider them to be “holy.” The most common reason for our connection to these objects usually has to do with nostalgia, namely with family.
I just saw “The Hangover” last night. Fantastic movie. (Don’t. For the love of all things, don’t) Take your kids. Of all the great lines in the film, one sticks out in particular:
Ed Helms (referring to random woman he accidentally married): She’s wearing my grandmother’s Holocaust ring.
Zach Galifinakis: They gave out rings in the Holocaust?
Ignoring the fact that as dumb as Galifinakis’ character’s question is, he isn’t so far off. What the hell is a Holocaust ring anyways? It doesn’t much matter. The fact is that it is old and meant a lot to Ed Helms’ character.
This reminded me a lot of a conversation I had with my dad earlier this week. I misplaced my tallis a couple weeks back. Thankfully, I found it, but I hadn’t yet told my dad. He asked me if I’d found it, told him where it was but then brought up the mysterious case of my tallis bag.
Before my bar mitzvah, my grandfather, who has since passed away, bought me my tallis, tallis bag and t’fillin. A very nice Bar Mitzvah gift.
About 5 or 6 years ago, though, I misplaced the bag. Don’t know where it is. Could have sworn it was in a certain drawer (I was using a second bag at the time), but I was wrong. I looked everywhere for it and was pretty bothered by the fact that I lost it.
Of course, as time moved on, I totally forgot about it. I don’t think I’d ever even told my parents that it was gone. Not that it bothered my dad when I did tell him (the tallis is more important than the bag). I just kind of wish I knew where it was. I need to get John Walsh on the case.
If you know the whereabouts of my tallis bag, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It was last seen, empty (maybe with some old candy wrappers and a seating place card or two). It is black, possibly with gold lions (I don’t quite remember), and has Yirmiyahu Shmuel Moses embroidered onto it. Your e-mails can remain anonymous.