This year was the first Rosh Hashana in my life that I didn't go to Temple. I didn't see my Daddy walk up to the bima in his bright white robe, nodding greetings as he went. I didn't see him raise his arms in the ancient sign of the high priest, the fabric of his sleeves gently swaying in a low arc as he invoked his blessing for a sweet new year upon his congregation. Nor did I hear the pure, thrilling notes of Avinu Malkeinu as we stood before our great, high arc (I did listen to Barbara Streisand's version later on my iTunes, downloaded expressly for this occasion).
What I did do was rejoice.
|Dates for peace and prosperity|
|Apples, honey, and pomegranate for sweetness|
|Fish-heads for abundance|
|The prayer I received|
|My Saba giving his speech|
|To hear how it should sound, click here|
That night at one in the morning, I flew across the ocean via the wonders of Skype to join my American family for their Rosh Hashanah feast. After five minutes of technical difficulties (during which I sat through a hilarious interlude of silent movie faces waving and kissing from all directions), my cousin Leah walked me around her New Jersey living room to say hi to the family. We spun around in dizzying circles as I sent my new year's wishes through the computer screen. Then, they set me down for my most unique holiday experience yet: watching from above on a laptop computer while reciting the prayers, watching my closest relatives sip the wine, eat the round challah, dip their apples into honey so far away, yet so near. I sat on my bed in Saba's office, tucked beneath his ancient, old, crooked shelf of books, smelling my Savta's roses through the window, and thinking how lucky I am on BOTH sides of the ocean.
|Joining the family for dinner in Jersey!|
|Talking to Imaleh|
|Uncle Bobby waving hello|
|My perch on top of the cabinet|
|My brother Alon making up for the horrid shofar playing we had heard by playing his rendition of Eli Eli for me and Saba. Then he played a 26 second Tekiah Gedolah!|