I didn't have an easy fast this time around. I don't fast well as a rule, but this was harder than usual. Normally, I manage to stand throughout Neilah, but this time, I didn't. I think maybe it was the nap.
First thing was the rain - New York City and the rest of the Northeast is getting, at one swell foop, all the rain it didn't get during the summer. You can't carry an umbrella on a holiday. I don't own a raincoat, or a rainhat. I ended up wearing my winter coat, which is waterproof and has a hood, and my canvas sneakers (can't wear leather shoes on Y"K) didn't get too wet.
Kol Nidre was done beautifully and with tremendous ruach by our friend S, as was the rest of Ma'ariv. I followed my normal practice of doing the private davening from an all-Hebrew Israeli machzor and following the outloud davening with an ArtScroll. I find doing that aids my concentration in both instances. And the rain slackened off for the walk home, so that wasn't so bad.
However, I decided that I'd do better wearing a knit hat instead of a fancy scarf the next day - they dry faster and are more comfortable. I did NOT wear all white, although a number of people did. More settled for one white garment or just an extra-nice Shabbos suit or outfit. The married men, of course, wore their kittels (the white coats they got when they got married, or a replacement if they can't wear the originals anymore.) and tallisim, so they were all set. Instead, I wore an off-white sweater at night, and the next day, I wore a white shell under my jacket (which came with a different skirt than the one I was wearing, but the first skirt developed a hole, and this went beautifully.)
The shul's ac had been left on, so it was *cold*. Many of the women finished musaf wearing their coats at least draped over their shoulders - I know I did. My rebbitzen, who is a lovely lady and who sat next to me, said she liked the cold.
And, again, our ba'alei t'filah, our prayer leaders, did an amazing job. It's so *nice* belonging to a synagogue with deep talent. We didn't have to hire an outside cantor to do the big services. And Yavneh has another major plus - no one *talks* during the davening. No matter how long the service, even the teenage girls either davened or left the sanctuary. And then they all joined in the singing, too. We have amazing ruach and kavanah, and having one of our own at the shtender only helps.
Musaf ended at about 1:30, and mincha would be at 4PM. So we went home and took naps. Well, I took a nap. Jonathan didn't. In retrospect, maybe the nap wasn't a good idea, but honestly, I couldn't stay awake. He left before I did, and when I got dressed again, I wore a long-sleeved white turtleneck instead of the shell. I also changed necklaces (in neither case were they at all precious - one was a beaded double-helix and one was beggar's beads, which means highly polished pebbles. I prefer that sort of jewelry.) I also wore the green shawl I got from ataniell93. (BTW, I wore the maroon one with my suit on the first day of R"H. It got nothing but compliments and it went perfectly. Thank you!)
And the shul was comfortable. :) Ah, well. I wasn't the only one who'd changed, either, and at least two women came back wearing the same sort of hat I was. I did come late enough to miss the mincha Torah reading and all of Yonah, but that was okay - I came in time to say the amidah. That's the part that counts. S did Neilah, and as I mentioned, I did not manage to stand. I was also somewhat light headed and a touch nauseated, but both of those passed eventually. I think that was the nap.
The men danced when we sang "Shana haba b'rushalyim" (Next year in Jerusalem.) The women's side was too crowded - we always get a bigger female turnout. And then we said weekday ma'ariv - led by a young man whose father died on R"H in Israel. His shiva was cut short by Y"K, and his sheloshim will end on Sukkot. And he's not used to leading services, but that will change very quickly. It's heartbreaking, though.
And then there was the break-fast (sponsored in honor of the young man's father.) We broke ours with V-8 juice that had sat under my chair for all of Y"K. And then we each had a slice of cake and went home to bagels and lox. And television, and Jonathan got to play with his birthday present - I got him a Tungsten-E2.