Parked In: A Yom Kippur Story

closeThis post was published 12 years 4 months 25 days ago. A number of changes have been made to the site since then, so please contact me if anything is broken or seems wrong.

I wrote this way back in October, but never got around to polishing it and posting it until now. Finally I found time and motivation to post! I hope you all enjoy this story; even now, I am still uncovering all its hidden meanings.

This year’s Yom Kippur was interesting.  After school, I went straight to dinner, and then to services.  Specifically, we (my mother and I) were interested in Kol Nidre, a beautiful piece of music that is part of the evening service erev Yom Kippur.

The service started at 16:45, and I had what was basically a tech rehearsal for a production of scenes from Romeo and Juliet at 17:30.  More importantly, we had a stage fight to completely rework, so I had to be at rehearsal as close to on-time as possible — our fight choreographer would only be there for the first hour.  It looked like things were going to work out pretty well; we’d just leave the service shortly after Kol Nidre and blast to rehearsal, perhaps catching the second half of the service later, around 20:30.

It was not ordained.

Exiting the shul at 17:27, I was horrified to find that the Temple’s parking attendants had motioned congregants to double-park — filling each passageway in the (relatively small, actually, considering the size of the congregation) parking lot with two lines of cars — effectively hemming in those vehicles parked within the white lines on the asphalt (and each other, but I’ll discuss that below).  Worse, there was one BMW 525i that was just barely blocking the one possible escape route.  Honestly, had it not been for that one car, I could have gotten to rehearsal five or ten minutes late — not bad for a holiday.  But that BMW was in the way, and I was stuck.

What could I do? We went back inside. There was nothing else to be done except wait for the end of the service and get to rehearsal as soon as possible.

As it happened, the rabbi delivered a very moving sermon that evening. I felt like I suddenly knew why that one BMW had been parked behind our car. If we’d been able to get out, we would have left and missed that sermon.

Even better, when I finally did get to rehearsal, everyone was quite understanding and the fight choreographer had stayed late just for me. I am grateful for that, and for the sermon that I came so close to missing. When something is supposed to happen, the universe rearranges itself to make that something possible. I find that amazing.


I am an avid technology and software user, in addition to being reasonably well-versed in CSS, JavaScript, HTML, PHP, Python, and (though it still scares me) Perl. Aside from my technological tendencies, I am also a theatre technician, sound designer, violinist, singer, and actor.


  1. Margaret Sch.

    I agree with your last two sentences. If it’s meant to be, you can’t stop it. And if it’s not meant to be, you can’t make it happen. On the other hand, I also believe we have choices many times. Just not all the time.

  2. In all honesty, I could have walked to rehearsal; it would only have taken about half an hour…

  3. Margaret Sch.

    Yes, indeed, you could have walked. So, there was a bit of choice involved after all. But all was well that ended well.

  4. Good show. You made the right decision. 🙂

  5. Well, that’s certainly philosophical! Fate. It’s what makes the world go ’round…

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