This morning I went to the bar mitzvah of a friend of my brother. I greatly enjoyed being part of a Jewish shabbat service, as I generally do on the rare occasions I have an excuse or feel religious enough to go. A family friend left at some point to make a phone call, and came back and said something to me and the few people around me about "the shuttle exploding," or something like that. I didn't think much of it at that point.

There is a part of the shabbat service called the mourner's kaddish, a prayer for the dead. Immediately before the kaddish, members of the congregation who are mourning are asked to stand up and name those they are mourning. One man stood up and said, "I heard on my way here that the space shuttle Columbia exploded on reentry this morning." From the reaction of the congregants, it was clear that most had not heard the news. We said the kaddish, for people's relatives and friends, but also for the six astronauts that died over Texas this morning.

For me, at least, the rest of the bar mitzvah was not as happy as a bar mitzvah should be.

/me misses Columbia too