When I was a classroom teacher it felt so logical to begin a new school year and prepare for the Jewish New Year. Yes, the timing of the holidays often interrupted the flow of our need to create a new routine, a new flow, but as the Fall arrived, taking time out to breathe it in as I often walked back and forth to synagogue was a gift just to think. Celebrating the holidays was always better than I expected.
I was comfortable in a synagogue. Even if I hadn’t visited often as a adult, I spent enough time as a kid in synagogues so opening a prayer book anywhere I could find my place. But in the last 20 years, sitting next to Tuvia I often find myself using the time to space out-remembering and planning.
The synagogue we’ve been attending in Hoboken, New Jersey where Tuvia’s sons live, has been undergoing a major renovation even since we started attending. That’s almost 20 years, and you can see the slow and steady fruits of their labors as this old building’s face lift has brought it back to its former glory and even more.
As a kid I faded out when the rabbi began his sermon, in fact, I often disappeared, but Rabbi Sheinman is at his best when he’s speaking to the whole congregation on a holiday and I’ve been all ears even since he used the play Our Town, to frame one of his Yom Kippur sermons.
Of course I have no idea what I will wear. It’s hard to find anything in my closest that comes close to a dress or skirt but this synagogue is pretty informal but the hunt will begin soon and given that the holiday is later this year, we will probably be well into fall, so that might make it easier.
I actually didn’t expect to be writing about the Jewish holidays this morning but that’s the great thing about writing isn’t it? Something comes when you start the process…
Hang on.. if you’re still with me this is what I was planning to write about today 🙂
This past weekend my cousin Elaine and my 93 year-old AUNT SALLY journeyed to Ellenville for a visit. They came to see my dad and stay with my brother and sister-in-law just across the street. I arrived with Tuvia on Friday afternoon to welcome them, along with Amanda and her baby, Eliana. I had it easy. All I had to do was stop at Harold’s, the kosher super store just down the road from Tuvia’s house and pick up dinner for the group. Easy. And leaving in the afternoon, there was no traffic to deal with. Now before we left for Ellenville I knew I’d be back the next morning to spend more time with the family. One night was all Tuvia would have the patience for, even though he loves my aunt. Everyone loves my Aunt Sally 🙂 . She’s the only surviving sister of the Lepifkys and my mom’s favorite and we share a birthday. We are bonded forever.
Elaine of course does all the driving and they spread out the trip from Toronto to Ellenville in two days. It’s a hard ride. As a kid, I HATED it! Pretty close quarters for me and my two brothers in a two door car without iPods, tvs,. All we had was a car radio that came and went as we moved from signal to signal. UGH! Of course it was even worse for my parents,especially when we started getting car sick. I’ll stop here …
The evening was great. The rides up and back were fine. I had Tuvia for conversation. The next morning, after a good night’s sleep I was up and out in the fall sunshine with my iPod charged and ready to keep me company. A great ride up and breakfast was out as I arrived. Lots of good coffee and my aunt was happy to have us together. But I was torn. Soon Tuvia’s family would be arriving back in Paramus. It’s hard to feel the divide especially when I was holding month old Eliana. I left around :30 and it felt too abrupt especially with the rain falling on my parade.
I said goodbye to my aunt and Elaine and I was off…. to return to the world of Mia and Mihael and the plan to see a movie, a family movie. Dolphin Tales , not a movie on our list but one that I could sleep through half and still get the whole gist. Of course as I woke up the kids were right there to announce that I had missed a lot. HA!
Of course I loved being back with the family but somehow I knew I’d be back in my car the next morning, taking another ride up to Ellenville and when I woke up on Sunday I announced that I would have to return and Tuvia knew I had to go back up. I called Marla to let her know I was coming back. She was pleased and didn’t say anything to my aunt or cousin.
They were happy to see me, really happy to see me.
I needed to soak it all in. At 93 you just never know, right? It feels good to do the right thing.