Posted by: ppernick | October 4, 2006

Gmar Chatima Tova

Literally translated I believe it is: may you finish with a good seal

Generally translated I believe it is: may you be sealed in the Book of Life.

Another Yom Kippur has come and gone.  Though this year was definately not like those past.  This was the first year that we missed Kol Nidrei.  While I would have liked to go, Ari wasn’t feeling 100%, services didn’t start until 6:30, and the synagogue we attend is 45 minutes away.  That would have made for a late night for both boys who needed to get to bed earlier than services would allow (and if we’re going to drive that far, I would prefer to stay for at least the majority of services).

It turns out that only one parent of 3 little boys (Jacob, Nathan and Simeon) made it to Kol Nidrei.  It was also interesting to see how the rest of us compensated.  I kept singing the first sentence over and over, Ari hummed the tune to himself all evening, and D listened to Kol Nidrei off a movie sound track.

Every year, my goal is to get to services before the Torah service begins (the earlier the better).  This year, as soon as we got to the synagogue, we went downstairs to the Tot Service (0-4 year-olds) which had already begun.  After a song, it was time for the Torah Service[1].  Ari turned to me at this point and said ‘See, I got you here in time for the Torah Service.’

We wound up not getting much time in the main services – not that I can say I was surprised.  Ari played with Simeon in the babysitting room while I went upstairs for a bit, then we switched places.  I managed to find J and L while in the main service, and Ari and L came down when Yizkor (the memorial service) started.  The three of us gathered Simeon and his belongings and took a walk to a nearby park — J joined us a little later when services were over.  The rest of the day was spent relaxing as much as possible.  I fed and played with Simeon while Ari attempted to nap.  We eventually parked at Greenlake and did more of the same while waiting for D.  We did a loop around Greenlake with D (who had dropped J at daycare for a little bit) then broke the fast a little early so we could get all the boys home and in bed at a decent time.  All in all, an interesting look at how Yom Kippur will be for the next couple years.

[1] The Torah Service for the kids is adorable.  Everybody sings the prayer that would normally be sung at the start of the Torah Service.  The kids go over to the little Aron Kodesh, grab a stuffed Torah, and parade them in a circle.  Once the prayer is over and all the kids have a Torah, they sit down for storytime.  Storytime is a children’s book following the day’s Torah or Haftorah portion.  When the book is finished, everybody sings the prayer for the close of the Torah Service as the kids parade again and put their Torah back.

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