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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
Rosh HaShanah

Having reached skip=800, I'm caught up. Sort of. Mostly, I skimmed so if anything really interesting happened, please comment.

(No, I wasn't up all night. I don't even want to be awake now, but it's too damp to sleep and too cool for the air conditioner to do any good.)

So. Rosh HaShanah. We ate, we slept, we prayed, and then we did it all over again. The end. :)

Monday's dinner had the most successful turkey I've ever made. Cooking at 325F, starting the bird on its tummy and turning it halfway through the cooking, and cooking it unstuffed made it golden brown, thoroughly cooked and very juicy. I still have half.

Mom, her boyfriend and my brother arrived late, bearing soda and place mats. I'd called my mom earlier to ask for soda, and it turned out she was in Macy's anyway, and I needed the place mats, so I asked her. Note that we don't ask for things from either set of parents often and I offered to pay her back.

She got me lovely ones (from, as it turned out, Bed, Bath and Beyond.) - washable off-white canvas with wheat stalks embroidered on a couple of edges. Elegant and appropriate. I told her I'd take white, off-white or ivory, but I trusted her with the rest, since she does have wonderful taste. :)

Although - she brought three bottles of soda. Diet Sprite, Diet Caffeine-free Coke and Diet Caffeine-free Pepsi.

The soup came out crystal clear, and the roasted vegetables were perfect. Dessert was store-bought honeycake slices topped with sugar-free apricot preserves and served with a sprig of mint. The apricot went very well with the honeycake.

Shul started 8AM. As if. :) I got there about 10, just in time to find my seat, catch up on the morning service and then - go to the kiddush we have before the shofar service. Which we have outside because we have no room in our sanctuary. It gets rather crowded. Our rabbi has found a way that we can eat before the shofar service. I'm not sure what it is, but he says it's all right. I had soda.

A friend of ours led the rather challenging musaf (additional) service, which lasted until 1:15. Poor guy had to stand with his feet together for the entire time, too. I stand during the repitition, even when the ark holding the Torah scrolls is closed (everyone who can does stand when it's open), but I can move around. He couldn't. He did an excellent job the first day. He did a better one the second.

We went home, Jonathan blew shofar for our friend's wife, who didn't bother hearing it in shul. It's so funny - she went to yeshiva and seminary and she still didn't know her obligations or even the bracha for the candlelighting. I don't understand that. Don't the girls' schools teach those things?

Lunch was leftovers - I added the leftover gravy and some cubed turkey to a pot of the rice pilaf and served that with the leftover vegetables.

After lunch, we slept. And slept. I woke about 6PM, just before Jonathan left for synagogue. At 7:23, I could start doing the things I needed for that night - I lit my own candles and put out little tea lights for our guests (that same couple, plus another friend), put the peppers in the oven and the soup on the stove. Still crystal clear. Yosefa lit from my candles, but was confused about the brachot (shel yom tov? That's fine, but better to say "yom hazikaron." She was convinced her mother always said shel yom tov, so, fine.) And yes, shehechiyanu. I don't think she got the reason for serving "new fruit".

The reason is that we don't know if Rosh HaShanah is two days or one double length day (this is why it, alone of all the holidays, is observed for two days everywhere, even in Israel.) For a normal diaspora two-day yom tov, the second day is a separate day, so we say sheheckiyanu, the blessing for new things, both days, although we don't say it at all for the final days of Pesach. Things aren't so clear on R"H, so the rabbis have said we need to think about having something new - fruit we haven't had in a month, say, or new clothes when we make the bracha the second day. So serving the new fruit the first day is nice, but counter-productive.

I had mangos, btw.

Dinner was the first night repeated, except we had stuffed peppers and noodles for the main course. And it was nice having guests who knew what they were doing for the ritual stuff. My family had to be coached along.

Jonathan had been given the haftarah for the second day (better than the first day. I was happy enough to miss that one. It's the one where Chana prays for Shmuel and while some infertile couples draw strength from it, we don't anymore. We cry.) I managed to get to shul just in time to hear him - I'd even davened at home so I wouldn't have to catch up. He did well, of course. Stu, again, led musaf, and he was even better. Practice.

Lunch was a cheese omelette and salad. You get very tired of meat. And then we slept. Again. And then Jonathan went back to shul and that was that.

I did manage to get some measure of kavana when I said musaf and heard the shofar the second day, so it wasn't, for me, a total spiritual loss.


what is the second-day haftorah? i can definitely see how the first-day haftorah would be problematic for you, especially in conjunction with that very emotional & difficult torah reading.

the shofar-blower-person (what's the technical term?) at the service we went to (not our usual shul, but more accessible for the high holidays) was *outstanding*, the best i've heard in my limited experience. the shofar was extra big, a full twist-and-a-half, which was probably part of it, but the woman who did the blowing did an amazing job: the notes were as true and ringing as you could hope to hear. and the tekiah gedolah made you think of doors opening and walls crumbling, but without the strangled shriek you sometimes get toward the end as the blower's face changes from red to purple.

I know shevarim is supposed to be 'mournful' in some way, but it's just too exciting a sound for me to think it as other than 'fear fire foes!', with tekiah being 'awake!'.

actually, tekiah always sounds like 'awake! alert', shevarim like 'mount up!', and teruah like 'charge!'

shofar-blower-person (what's the technical term?)
ba'al tokeah, or in this case, since your shofar blower is a woman, ba'alat tokeah.

My father-in-law has a shofar like that - and he's amazing. He used to be a professional trumpet player, and he can get tunes out of it.

Jonathan is also very good, even on his standard one. He was not the baal tokeah, but he did blow shofar for a couple of our friends.

second day haftarah, at least where I was: Jeremiah 31 (it's got the passage "Rachel weeping for her children", which always makes me weepy my own self).

Same here. Yermiyahu. Honestly, I was just concentrating on following the Hebrew and listening to my husband be expressive. :)

Following does not mean understanding, mind you. My Hebrew comprehension isn't zero, but it's not high.

It's the one where Chana prays for Shmuel and while some infertile couples draw strength from it, we don't anymore. We cry.)

Yeah. Just... yeah.


...but was confused about the brachot (shel yom tov? That's fine, but better to say "yom hazikaron." She was convinced her mother always said shel yom tov, so, fine.)

I don't remember ever hearing of "yom hazikaron" as the ending of the bracha, and the books I've got handy (Artscroll machzor, rinat yisrael siddur) both have "shel yom tov" for rosh hashana.