October 02, 2011

A happy new year to all

Rosh Hashanah was terrific but it's been a long few days. We celebrated the beginning of the holiday at dinner Wednesday night with the usual gang of friends (family of the heart, I call it). On Thursday, after a long morning of praying, we had a long afternoon of eating and socializing with more friends, some family of the heart and others we have shared this holiday with for as long as I can remember.

The ancient Jewish custom of tashlich involves casting our sins into the water symbolically using a piece of bread. We always do this with friends at Alki Beach. This year I noticed a group of very Orthodox men in black suits, white shirts and hats. We moved a little further along the beach and read a few words from the prayerbook, sang a few songs with water themes, and did a little private meditation.

On Friday I went to synagogue while Rik taught school. After more praying, I enjoyed yet another large meal with synagogue friends and headed home to prepare for Shabbat dinner.

Do you detect a praying and eating theme here? I often tell a joke about what's behind so many Jewish holidays: They tried to kill us. God saved us. Let's eat.

Saturday was Shabbat Shuva, the Sabbath between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur commonly known as the Sabbath of Returning. There are some special additions to the prayer service on this day, and I've been leading a particular service for many years and did so again. Because the new year holiday fell on Thursday and Friday, there were fewer people than usual in synagogue by Saturday. Three days in a row is more than many (most?) Jews can handle.

By Saturday afternoon I was pooped beyond belief. I crashed hard on the sofa and slept for a few hours, ate a light meal of leftovers and watched a DVD.

This morning I felt enough better to make french toast from the remaining challah, go to the grocery store, and have a long visit with some close girlfriends. We went out for dinner (Greek avgolemono soup at The Continental Restaurant and Pastry Shop). Now I am in my jammies, ready to put my feet up.

I am pretty tired after all these new year's activities, but I am extraordinarily happy to have had the energy to celebrate as much as I did. I think this bodes well for the new year!

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