Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rosh Hashana

So we just finished our three day Holiday (two days of Rosh Hashana followed immediately by Shabbat) and it truly was a great experience. We stayed at the Yeshiva for the holiday and my cousin Jay-Jay came to join us. Rav Sperling, one of the Rabbis at Nishmat, told our class the day before we left for Rosh Hashana, that if you have the ability to go to a Yeshiva for Services on Rosh Hashana do! He said it would be an experience you would never forget. He was absolutely right. The Cavanah (focus) of the prayers coming from each person was amazing. When we would sing certain parts outloud I often felt that the hole building was being lifted with each lift of our voices. I did, however often find myself starting to sing the tunes of Mr. Sigman (the leader at my parents synagogue) and getting very confused when the leader at the yeshiva would do something different. The first day I was not in the service for the repetition of musaf and therefore did not hear all 100 blasts of the shofar (but I did here 30). I was helping out with the babysitting and joining in by taking an hour out of davening, as every other wife at the service did, to help watch everyone's kids. The second day I did it during Shacharit and did not miss very much at all, since it ran into the time for kiddush (the yeshiva takes a break at 9am for kiddush which is home baked by all the wives) which the kids went in to take part in. I have to say this Rosh Hashana was one of the most meaningful experiences I have ever had. Of course tears were shed, when we were thinking of our families, but only wishing they could be here with us and not us there with them.

We hosted three meals throughout the weekend, and ate at the yeshiva for three, and we were invited out for one. I have to say as amazing as shabbat food always comes out, there is something added to the taste of Rosh Hashana food- oh right honey! Nate, being the one who likes spice food, was not as excited as I was to have honey in just about everything we ate. I went through three very large containers of honey in my cooking and for our dunking of apples and challah into at the table. It was amazing! There are many other customs here at the Yeshiva that many people have and we were able to take part in many. On the first night, when we ate at the Yeshiva on the table were fish heads (I know mom, you would have been freaked out), eggs, pomegranates (they have 613 seeds equaling the number of commandments in the bible), apples, honey, and round challahs. One of our friends, the Hassans made cookies that had different fruits in it each having some symbolizing some custom for the holiday. They were very good. On the second night, our custom is to have a new fruit, so we had a cactus fruit. It was interesting, a bit bitter, but it definitely looked very nice.

Having my cousin here was very nice. Jay made me realize how hard it is to not have too much family here in Israel that we can spend holidays with and how important it is that we spend with with who ever we can when we can. On that note, we will most likely be spending part of sukkot up north with our cousins the Chai's (on Nate's side). I hope Jay enjoyed being here as much as we enjoyed having him.

So for those of you who are wondering, (if you read the last post) over the holiday we still at tomatoes, in fact we ate the tomatoes Nate had sliced previous to his accident (it was for my rattatoi dish that I was making) and as he said "It was very good, but it had a taste I just couldn't put my finger on..." Anyway, we saw the doctor yesterday and he said everything looks good, Nate will continue his pain killers and I learned how to dress the wound which I will have to do daily. Overall, despite the downer before the holiday, it truly was a great weekend. We miss you all and love you! We hope you all have a meaningful ten days of repentance, including Yom Kipur. Shana Tova and G'mar Chatima Tova!

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