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#1 of 16 Old 08-31-2002, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thought it would be nice to hear from the jewish folk how they celebrate the holidays coming up. What customs, rituals do you revel in? What things are you evaluating in your life as the new year approaches? Will you be gathering with family, friends? Are you going to a synagogue?

This year I will be attending the erev rosh hashanna service, which I have never gone to because of the kids and we only went on the day. my rosh chodesh group was asked to take care of the oneg afterwards and I was asked to open the ark during the service. That will be really special to me to celebrate the newyear/new moon as this is the first year the group has been part of my life.

I will be evaluating and working this year on doing more than I do now for others and really working on listening to others...in a nutshell.....

I'm especially looking forward to sukkot....I love sukkot and eating outside in our little sukkah. I want to have guests over every night to share the joy of the harvest and look at the moon and stars thru the roof.

What about you all? I wish you a very good year, la shana tovah to everyone
michelle
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#2 of 16 Old 09-01-2002, 04:32 PM
 
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In brief, we have a very standard, traditional Rosh HaShanah. We usually have a full table, a dozen or so guests each day, with a few in the evenings, though this year it'll be much less. Harder for me to deal with the baby & the crowds ... even though DH does the bulk of the cooking ...

A common custom is to wear something new on the second day of Rosh HaShanah, ostensibly for making the blessing on having something new, but also just an additional vessel for "newness," as we have to remake ourselves, be new, every day of our lives, but on Rosh HaShanah, even more so, we are new.

Sukkos, the first days we go to friends who have a backyard and their own sukkah. Sukkos is a very complicated holiday if you live in an apartment building without a sukkah nearby. On the weekdays of the holiday (khol ha'moed) we pack up a cart with food and shlep it all over to the nearest available shul sukkah to eat, eight or so blocks away. A bit of a pain, to tell the truth. So on Yom Tov it's wonderful to have a home with a sukkah in the yard to go to.

Anyway, the last days of the holidays (Hoshana Raba, Shmini Atzeres and Simkhas Torah) those friends come to our apartment to stay, because the Upper West Side in NYC is ... ummm ... quite energetic on those holidays. Our Rebbe z'l was famous for his shul's Simkhas Torah energy, and people come from all over the place to be at his shul, even though he's gone ...

As an example and an aside, Michael Jackson came to our shul on Shmini Atzeres three or so years ago ... what that has to do with anything, I don't know, but is one of those fascinating NY moments, I guess ...

Anyway, one thing my Rebbe was very, very strong about, is that women should have their own lulav (palm frond) and etrog (citron fruit) on Sukkos. (The lulav and etrog are part of the essential holiday rituals, and many women "borrow" their husbands' lulav and etrog to fulfill the mitzvah)

A lot more to say in a much more coordinated way another time (this was sort of rambly, wasn't it. sorry 'bout that.)

- Amy
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#3 of 16 Old 09-02-2002, 08:10 AM
 
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Well right now, I am trying to figure out how many guests we will be having. Anyone? Then I need to plan a menu and go shopping, bake challah and cook. And prepare al the semanim (signs) ecspecially the yummy fish head! Somewhere in there I will try to get in some teshuva (repentance). On the actual holiday I will go to shul (synagogue) for the shofar, at least.

Yom Kippur of course, since fasting is the most important thing, I will probably not leave my house unless I really feeling up to it at the end, but I will probably be able to hear some of the davening from my house (we live 2 doors from a shul). I am not looking forward to the predicted heat while I fast.

-BelovedBird

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#4 of 16 Old 09-03-2002, 10:27 PM
 
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I'm really dragging my feet with the cooking... What's silly is that I'm only cooking for one day!!! We've been invited out for all the meals but Sunday afternoon - yeah!!! We'll be going to shul with the masses. At least I get to help with the children services for Rosh Hashana. That's always fun.

On Yom Kippur, I'll be miserable. I'm expecting a big headache. (ooh, that sounds so negative!!) I wish I could use the "I'm nursing" excuse to not fast, but I think we're beyond that now (my 3 yo just weaned, and my 16 mo is not exactly a newborn anymore!). I'm having a sort of open-house break the fast, so I should start thinking of cooking and freezing for that, hnmmmmmm..... suggestions for a menu, anyone?

I'm really depressed about Sukkot, I must say. We also live in an apartment, so we can't build a sukkah. We will go to friends, and the shul's sukkah, but it's not the same for the kids.. Everyone else we know will be decorating theirs and stuff, and my kids will not.. My 6 yo has already commented on this. Oh well, nothing we can do about it.

Shanah tova to everyone!!! Have a wonderful sweet new year.
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#5 of 16 Old 09-04-2002, 03:35 AM
 
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me&3, I never got to use the nursing heter, but did not fast during my pregnancies (history of miscarriages).

One of the wilder things, though, was the rav who told me not to fast (when pg with DS#1 specifically) told me to make kiddush at night after coming home from shul on Yom Kippur.

That was one of the weirdest things I've ever done. First, making kiddush myself altogether, since DH was obviously not partaking, and then just the whole feeling of eating on Yom Kippur. I drank the minimum amount acceptable for a kiddush and ate just enough (very little, too) but it was still an odd feeling.

Is it true that Sephardi women, as a rule, don't fast when they're nursing? Don't know where I heard that ...

We used to love being in shul all day for the holidays, our shul had extraordinary davening, had a very special energy (the Carlebach shul in NYC) but it's changed a little too much for us, is now too "Stepford" for us to deal with, so we're going to a shtiebel (very small shul in someone's apartment building, basically) where DH davens during the week. I've never davened there, hopefully the kids will let me actually daven a little ... :

- Amy

edited to define: daven means pray
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#6 of 16 Old 09-04-2002, 02:55 PM
 
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Amy, do you mind if I ask which shtiebel you go to?

My dh used to go to Voorhan's. Back in the day. I never liked going there though because the woman's section was so small and there was a wall with only a small, curtained window between their section and the men's section. They were all so nice though.

I never found anywhere on the UWS I felt 100% comfortable, and for a while we didn't even use the eruv so I was stuck inside. I was always happy when we got away for Shabbos and holidays.
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#7 of 16 Old 09-05-2002, 01:28 PM
 
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Yup, Hydrangea, DH goes to Vorhand's ... what we've done the last few years (that we've been in galus from R' Shlomo's shul ) is that DH goes to R' Vorhand's and I take the kids to the Chabad. The two shuls are two blocks apart, and there's a playground at the Chabad, so I enjoyed the chance to daven ... in the playground ... while the kids played. Well, the rabbis come out and get the kids inside for tekias shofar, but otherwise they don't end up in shul at all, it seems, not even to run around and make noise ... which feels somehow off to me.

Anyway, so this year we're all going to the same place. I'm not thrilled with the curtained-window thing, not my "preferred" type of mekhitza, but the women I know who go there love it ... and they say the same thing, everyone's so nice.

Though our stroller may not even fit in the entryway ...

- Amy
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#8 of 16 Old 09-05-2002, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Shalom ladies, haven't had a chance to get back to this thread because I've been very busy making lots of honey cakes! I never made them before and my kids loved helping.

Amy, carting all your food must be quite a feat! And what a lot of guests you have! Do you do all the cooking? I thought making the honey cakes was a lot of work. I really should get a lulav and etrog...I'll pop an email off to my rabbi.

Tzippy, me&3, Amy I admire you greaty for being able/ and truly fasting. Since I converted I have never been able to do it. I tried the first year and also got a terrible headache and felt like I would throw up, so I stayed home when Rich went to the community break the fast. Then I've been nursing and haven't tried. I think I will try next year.

I'm excited about services tomorrow night, a bunch of the ladies from my group are pitching in and bringing different things, it will be nice to also share news about our little group to the whole community.

michelle
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#9 of 16 Old 09-09-2002, 01:33 AM
 
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forestma, I wouldn't begin to do the cooking. DH does it all. He cooks for holy days, I cook for "khol-y" days (weekdays).

He's very, very good. A chemist by training. Like a mad scientist in the kitchen.

I do clean-up. For some reason I actually enjoy it. Very satisfying.

During the week I cook ... when it doesn't have to impress anybody.

And guests on the holidays/Shabbos is actually very intense for us ... we both find we get more from the guests than they get from us ... we invariably learn new Torahs, hear new stories, and just basically find out how much we still need to learn ... every time we have guests. Really, it's more than worth any effort involved ...

And good vokh (a good week) ...

- Amy
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#10 of 16 Old 09-09-2002, 09:28 AM
 
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hi ladies! I missed this pre-RH...

I can't wait till Sukkot but I'm not looking forward to building it on weeknights after DH gets home from work!! we are both always so tired at night!

my two nurslings are 15 months old and 30 months old so I guess I'm fasting this year - first time in 3 years!!

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#11 of 16 Old 09-10-2002, 12:20 AM
 
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I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#12 of 16 Old 09-10-2002, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for sharing that!

Amy, who are your guests that you learn so much from? I Imagine they are from your community....want to share something new you learned this year?

I'm really glad our group did the oneg...my whole family came and its something I wouldn't have attended if not asked...my boys did really well, they enjoyed the service, seeing lots of folk and staying up late! We had a kids service the next morning and it was touching to see Izaac leading the way around the santuary holding the rabbi's hand.

A really touching moment for me was when Rich came home from the adult service and a member of the rosh chodesh group came up to rich and said "I love your wife"...

shalom
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#13 of 16 Old 09-13-2002, 11:15 AM
 
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That was good, flminivanma. I am shy about posting here but so curious and interested. I am the person (you may remember from a while back) who is not Jewish, but married a Jewish man and we are raising our son to be Jewish, insofar as we know how, as dh is not terribly religious. Anyway, I'm reading all this words from your posts, like Simchat torah and sukkot and flipping back and forth from here to the Web site Jewish101 which explains a lot of them. There seems to be such an overwhelming amount of things to know. Dh's parents do Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur of course, but not the sukkot thing which I'm disappointed about, it sounds like fun. I can clearly remember neighbors when I was little had one and it was so enchanting, to a kid, that people built a little structure outside and hung Indian corn on it. I don't mean to sound gushy or trite. My main objective is that ds grows up with full access to the richness of the culture and roots he was born with and then of course faith if he is so inclined.

Yom Kippur is very mysterious to me--I ask and ask dh but he never has a full explanation for it. He's not all that religious but every year, YK rolls around and he observes it by fasting and going to temple. In fact, even very secular Jewish friends of mine do so also which makes a non-Jewish person wonder what the pull of it is, as it seems to be so strong. This year, I get it a little better. Perhaps due to thinking about the Sept. 11th tragedy.
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#14 of 16 Old 09-13-2002, 11:33 AM
 
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Yeah I never understood why if someone was going to only observe 2 holidays a year why they would pick RH and YK I would pick 2 really fun ones! like purim and sukkot/simchat torah!!

If you want to build a sukkah GO FOR IT!! We just bought lattice and 2x4s at home depot and it just took us a few hours to put up. we got palm fronds as our our roof covering (schak) - a local golf course always does pruning now and leaves them out for the local jewish familes.

At the very least if you don't want to build a sukkah then you can go and eat a meal in your synagogue's sukkah

we also bought an adorable stuffed lulav and etrog set from the source for everything jewish (a judaica catalogue) - they are normally pretty pricy but this was just $16 and it is very cute ... although my ds Max is insisting the "etrog" is an "acorn" LOL



a great book with instructions on how to add little bits of Judaism to your everyday life is "Jewish Family & Life; Holidays, traditions, and values" I highly recommend it

I'm Andrea - I have three boys - 12 year old twins & an 11 year old

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#15 of 16 Old 09-13-2002, 01:02 PM
 
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Thanks, I'll check it out.
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#16 of 16 Old 09-14-2002, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey jempd, check out sukkot in a way you can this year, it is my new favorite holiday.

May all you fasting mamas have an easy, meaningful one, I'm going to fast as best I can.....

shalom
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