Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ram's horn and pooh crumbs makes for a "sweet" new year!

Yesterday was Rosh Hashanah and I took a vacation day. It is weird to have to take “vacation” to observe a religious holiday, and it makes me wonder that if Easter Sunday fell on Tuesday… would we work? Being Jewish is nice, particularly right now because of the learning curve – it’s steep people, very steep. Last year [my first year as a Jew] we went to the evening Rosh Hashanah services, this year we went to the day time services. Big differences. The holiday encompasses the creation of the world and the beginning of a new yearly cycle, and the recognition of the seventh new month as the time when individuals, nations, and indeed all humankind are judged. Rosh Hashanah is a time for reflection and prayer and also a time to contemplate those we have wronged and give our sins to God. I read a blog that said Rosh Hashana is a nice way of saying “Screw Up Less Often.” This is what we did – I know it sounds fun, but Jews don’t proselytize so if this makes you want to be one, keep it to yourself because we’re not recruiting.

1.Slept in

2.Had to park in a swamp because the temple lot was full

3.Cleaned mud out from between my toes in the bathroom with three other women

4.Got to say L’Shanah Tova [kind of like Happy New year, literal translation “for a good year”] to lots of people and they understood me!

5.The Torah portion was about how Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac. This year's interpretation of the passage can be summed up like this: Sometimes parents are too attached to their children and need to let go. God encourages this by implying human sacrifice.

6.Blowing of the Shofar. Can I just tell you I blew my first shofar on Saturday night at “The Shofar Blast” [young adult new year’s celebration at a local bar]and I came in third and won a free martini! I played the trumpet in Jr. High and apparently those skill can be directly applied to mouthing a ram’s horn. Go me! Did I mention husband’s shofar blowing attempt produced only air and spit sounds? Again, Go Me!

7.We took crumbs out of a basket, the crumbs symbolized our sins for the year [I took a large handful] and after a prayer the rabbi tossed the crumbs into the river. Our sins are pollution and if we do not learn from them, we will consume them again in our food and water. Sins = pooh. Okay.

8.We ate apples and honey – how fun is that!? It is traditional to eat apples dipped in honey, to symbolize our hopes for a good and "sweet" new year. Jewish stuff always includes eating, but this is one of my favorites.

9.We had lunch at the Rabbi's house. We are VERY privileged that our Rabbi knows we are limited in the Jewish family department and probably knows I am limited in the Jewish cooking department [cooking in general] so we were invited to lunch. Lunch = several courses of Jewish delicacies prepared by the rabbi's wife, served on fine china. Lunch started at 1:30 ended at 4:30. I had to unbutton my pants when we got in the car. Husband and I also successfully choked down pickled salmon without gagging.

10.Husband and I spent the rest of the evening together. We took a nap [awesome], ate a whole wheat frozen pizza and some honey crisp apples [my current favorite thing about fall] and wrote some wedding thank-you notes.

I heart being a Jew and I think I have always been one deep down. I mean, I harbor Jewish guilt, I can blow the heck out of a Shofar and choke down pickled fish like a pro. I also love not working and I love spending time with my husband - yesterday was a perfect day. I also threw lots of pooh crumbs, so I have a surplus for this upcoming year and although I think that is beside the point [you're supposed to plan on not sinning, rather than making up for the sins you might commit]but I thought I could share them with my friends. Pooh crumbs for all!

L’Shanah Tova! Try to screw up less this year!

1 comment:

Jennie! said...

Being a Jew sounds awesome.