(Also, don't go looking for answers about what happened next, between the two of them. You just can't reconcile it for yourself.)
So I walked out, and without guilt chatted until I was sure the reading had passed. And it was so lovely that I also found reason to slip out when the sermon was dull, or the essay by a congregant was insulting (an error in logic and an error in grammar rendered Reform Judaism the equivalent of Mussolini and Hitler, and a high percentage of my friends "not Jewish").
It's not that I'm a stranger to running away, as we all know. But somehow I've finally learned to ask myself, "why am I engaging in this?" Sometimes there is a good fight worth fighting, but sometimes there's only a battle because you escalate a skirmish.
I mean, not that I usually stop fighting, but I'm sometimes recognizing the futility in the fight. It feels like progress. It feels like a sort of freedom.