Four years ago, my dad died. I wrote about sitting shiva and saying kaddish for him and the solidarity I found in that with Jews and non-Jews alike.
We Jews are a tiny community, full of weird and difficult and sometimes alienating rituals in languages many of us don’t speak. My dad wasn’t Jewish, but that did not diminish his enthusiastic participation in our ritual, even when he didn’t get it “right.” He never missed a seder or a break fast at my house, even when my mother couldn’t come. He showed up, and that was what mattered most. Similarly, while I sat shiva, my friends, acquaintances, colleagues, they showed up.