Saturday, October 8, 2011

Confessions from the Sanctuary, 2011

Now that Yom Kippur's over, it's time to note a few things we learned this holiday, mostly by accident.
While we did fast, we're always amused that many people who don't fast still enjoy the "break the fast" tradition.  Then again, we suppose one can't eschew a religious tradition that involves cake simply because of a small technicality of not fasting.  That wouldn't be very inclusive of us, now would it?
  1. When you're spending $100 on lox while fasting because you suck at planning, pause to note both the hypocrisy of the event and the irony of seeing/smelling all that food while you can't have so much as a nibble. 
  2. There are times, however, when exposing yourself to food on Yom Kippur is a good thing.  For example, feeding your father and your almost 86-year old uncle lunch so that they'll eat is a good thing.  Even if it feels like torture.
  3. When you've gone 24 1/2 hours without food or drink (but who's counting!), and you're so lightheaded you're not thinking clearly, there will come a time when you simply cannot deal with your child's refusal to wear any of her decent shoes, and her suggestion to wear tap shoes because they look fancy will sound like a decent one.  Be smart.  Learn from our mistake and do NOT, we repeat NOT give in!  It will be a disaster at best.
  4. Your second favorite moment of the day will be when your child takes out her toy shofar and blows as loudly as possible with a giant group of kids at the conclusion of neila*.  
  5. Your favorite moment of the day will be finding out some bizarre family detail.  For example, for us, it was the fact that our "shul" bracelet belonged not to our grandmother, but our great grandmother.  Meaning mini's great-great grandmother wore it to her shul on Yom Kippur in 1920s Germany.  That just boggles the mind.
  6. No one will tell you this, but the four questions were originally five.  The fifth question is: "why is it on all nights, we say the hamotzi quietly, but on THIS night the whole room practically screams the hamotzi with joy?" This question is asked by the "bored" child.

*For you non-Jewish peeps, neila is the concluding service of Yom Kippur.  The hamotzi is the blessing on bread which Jews say before a meal.  Interestingly, this explanation just gave away the answer to this question.

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