Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy 5773!

Saturday night – after sundown

The soup is on the stove, the kitchen smells grand and the table is set. I know there are matzah balls yet to be made, but things are looking up....the junior son just called to say the round challot are covered so I don’t have to worry about them. That’s a clear win.

Sunday night, Jewish families across the globe will gather for erev Rosh Ha’Shanah dinner. Tables will be full of families and friends. There will be traditional foods, would-be traditional foods, and plenty of gee-is-this-good-enough-to-become-traditional foods. At my table will be both family and friends…people with whom we often share regular days and holy days. Steve was the Mendota Heights native…the rest of us grownups are transplants. Junior son, wife, and the friends’ son went to school together and their growing up roots are well intertwined. A new significant other will be welcomed.  Having a regular table of the usual suspects makes helps our roots, too. And a couple of the usual suspects...the ones in Milwaukee....will be duly missed. In fact, missed a whole lot. 

I wasn’t kidding about that “across the globe thing.” My friend Rabbi Julie Gordon is in Mumbi at the moment where she will be the rabbi at Bene Israel Reform Jewish Community for the High Holy Days. She’s been living and studying in Jerusalem of late, and now she’s in India. How cool is that? Remarkably cool. Awesomely cool. And reassuring. We observe wherever we go. Jews can be found in almost every country...and we all observe the same holidays, often with the same liturgy no matter how long we have been apart from each other. We are a persistent people and I am glad for that. 

Sunday morning

Thus begins the 10 Days of Repentance.

At sundown, when we usher in Rosh Ha’Shanah, literally the head of the year, we will also begin a period of introspection. The purpose is to look at the past year, see the successes while also recognizing the failures. What could I have done better? Could I have avoided hurting someone intentionally…or even unintentionally? Have I made amends with the individuals involved?

The older I get, the more nit-picky I get about this stuff. My tendency is to be harsher on myself than on others. What I find intolerable in me, is okay in others…and I’m not sure what that’s about. I do try to play down the idiotic although I do have a full year of idiocy that does require at least cursory examination. I look at how I spent things: time, money, love. Have I wasted resources or have I invested them wisely? Nobody comes out on those three unscathed. I may be fiscally thrifty by nature, but the other two? Oy! I must do better on those.

Steve's fave: apple crisp going
 into the over
Of course, I will go over to the cemetery this week. I need to sit by Steve for bit; catch him up on all the news. I’ll tell him about the Google Hang-out thingee at the Times, and about the book. At least I can tell him the Vikings are staying put and there will be new stadium built for them…and I’ll listen closely just in case I can hear his famous mantra: Fucking Vi-queens, they break your heart every time!!!!!!!!  And I will tell him how much I miss him and that I would trade it all to have him sitting here, at the end of the kitchen counter, kvetching about one thing or another. Yep. I’d trade it all.

For those of you who will begin your own 10 Days, let me wish you an easy and peaceful introspection. And for everyone,  Shana tova u’meetuka….a happy and sweet new year.

!שנה טובה ומתוקה


  1. Interesting --- as I get older what I find intolerable in me really, really bothers me in others. Something I must work on this year!
    L'Shana Tova

    Love and hugs,

  2. My knowledge of Judaism has grown leaps and bounds under your tutelage - so thanks for the mentorship and happy new year!