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  • Writer's pictureLeann Shamash

A Shot in the Arm

A Little Story

Today was a little life changing for me as I know your first vaccines will be for you.

I am certain that everyone has their own special vaccine story which they will share someday with their children and grandchildren. Whether you went to Fenway Park or Foxborough or your local CVS, you will remember where you were for your shot and probably what your sticker looked like.

Here is my story. As you know, if you have followed this blog for the past year, I have been attending services at Congregation Kehillath Israel now since last spring. I am there every morning and being at Minyan is a meaningful way to start my day every day. Despite being at services every day and getting mail and other communications that KI sends out on a regular basis, I hadn't paid attention to the fact that the synagogue, under the able leadership of a local rabbi, was holding a Covid vaccine clinic for the many Holocaust survivors who live in the Coolidge Corner area. It took a phone call from a dear friend, also the child of survivors, to alert me that the clinic was also accepting children of survivors to vaccinate.

The story from that point progresses quickly. I emailed, received a reply and appointment within minutes and yesterday went and had my vaccine. Before I left the house I tucked a photo of my father into a book which I brought with me. As I entered the building I was keenly aware that many different worlds were intersecting which made this experience more emotional. Here I was in person in this synagogue which I have attending virtually each day for nearly a year. KI has truly been my Covid anchor during this time. And my father, whom I go outside and talk to every Erev Shabbat (along with mom!) after lighting candles, was here with me as well. Here was his presence, protecting me long after he left this world. And here we were, on the eve of Purim, on Ta'anit Esther, at a time where we feel deeply about our vulnerability in the world, in a clinic meant to help us become just a little less vulnerable in this tumultuous time.

After I received my vaccine I asked the kind doctor who administered the shot to take a photo with my dad. In my heart I knew that it was on his Z'chut that I was privileged to be there yesterday morning. Thank you, dad, for your bravery during your lifetime. Thank you, Congregation Kehillath Israel, for thinking to do this service for the survivors in the area and to be so kind to extend the service to those who are their children. I am not unaware of how fortunate I was to be there.

Dad was there with me in spirit.

May all of you are searching for this vaccine find it soon. May it imbue you with good health and protection. May your families be healthy and protected.

Chag Samaech and Shabbat Shalom.

Dad and the doctor who gave me my shot.

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