Yes, I know there are organizational experts who would tell you that I should have just given the box away without opening it, because I clearly didn't "need" whatever had been packed away for more than two years, but I just can't do this. And so tonight, after more than two years, I opened a random box (yes, there are more I haven't yet opened) and found a lost jewel.
Wrapped in a non-descript plastic bag, I found an old book I collected on my journey ... one I had forgotten I had.
This beautiful book made me cry because it had been packed away, despite its value. The value, though, is probably lost on most people because it looks so sad. The binding is loose, it has a couple of loose pages, and it needs to be rebound. But what is on the inside is priceless to me.
The loose binding reads, "The Order of Prayers," but (as a rabbi) I have tons of prayer books. What makes this book so special to me follows the initial page, which reads, "The Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Empire." The next page gives the title and the author/editor and reads as follows:
The Order of Prayers
Translated, compared, and revised
In the upheaval of finding my life as a rabbi, packing, moving, and beginning a new job, I had forgotten that I had found this wonderful book and was looking forward to the adventure of learning about a clearly remarkable woman, this Rachel Mayer.
The internet can be a wonderful tool, but can sometimes let you down. I had done my initial search on the web to try to learn about this early Jewish woman scholar, but literally found almost nothing ... other than a reference to a Passover Haggadah she wrote/edited the same year (1921), I found nothing.
And so I have a new hobby because I found a lost jewel in my (too many) boxes. : )