Sunday, September 12, 2010
Don't Rush Rosh Hashana
What a difference a few years makes. I remember sitting there (standing there, running there) with my kids and looking longingly at the families with older children, children the ages of mine now, Bar Mitzvahzilla fifteen and Daughter eleven. I mean, I enjoyed that whole baby thing, and what was really ever cuter than Daughter in a little dress crawling with matching pantaloon thingies on anyway? But still. Services.
Still, we never put our kids in the babysitting offered and dreaded the "children's service" since we couldn't hear ourselves think. And we felt sorry for the Rabbi who'd have to conduct the service over the din. And we - okay I - really think that kids have to learn how to stand still. Especially considering that they spend the rest of the time ripping our house to shreds, for example. I explain to them that it's not that Husband and I love being at services, but it's Rosh Hashana. It's kind of amazing that we're still Jewish thousands of years later. Not to mention the Holocaust.
Do they complain before we go? Yes. Do they ask questions about why we have to go? Yes. This year I got a double whammy from Daughter since the first day was her birthday. Wait just a minute. I have to go to services on my birthday? Lucky her, I explained, sharing a birthday with the birthday of the world! I swear, I can put a positive spin on anything.
She was born on a different Rosh Hashana, eleven years ago. Because of Bar Mitzvahzilla's preemie birth, she had to be delivered four weeks early, on 9-9-99, as a matter of fact. By Yom Kippur I was back in synagogue with my newborn in my arms and the congregation oohing and aahing over her. She's grown up there, whether she realizes it or not.
So don't rush my Rosh Hashana, kids. Some things take the time they take. Time to sit and time to stand. Time to think about the last year and the year to come. And time to both whisper and yell at the kids at the same time.
So relax and enjoy it. Because Yom Kippur is right around the corner.
How do you handle the inevitable protests of children not wanting to go to religious services? Do you have a long history at your house of worship? Can you think back to the different ages of your children on the same holiday over the years?
I'm participating in the Global Day of Jewish Learning and write this post in anticipation of November 7, 2010, when Jews around the world will share a day of dialogue and exploration.