This is the fourth in a Sisterhood series on women, apologizing and Yom Kippur.
I will always remember this one Shabbat dinner in my tiny studio on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It was wintertime and I had been preparing the meal for three days: shopping for groceries after work, hauling heavy bags up to my fifth-floor walk up, and chopping, slicing and simmering into the wee hours of the night with Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan by my side. I was famous for my Shabbat meals back then and, like most weeks, I was expecting a lot of friends. Twenty-five people staggered in on that particularly snowy night. With big coats and heavy boots left at the door, guests squished together around my table chatting, singing and eating the dishes I had carefully prepared the night before. It was perfect. And then it wasn’t. While everyone was laughing and having a ball between chicken and dessert, I looked around at all of these friends I had made and suddenly realized I felt totally empty and alone. It was a painful, frightening moment for me and I knew something had to change.