Posted by: ppernick | September 25, 2007

Behind in posting…as usual…

L’shana Tovah!  G’mar Chatima Tovah!

Hope all those out there celebrating the Jewish High Holy Days had a Happy New Year and a meaningful fast. 

I felt kinda bad for Ari this year.  Simeon’s too young to fast and I’ve got an exemption this year.  I may have another exemption next year too if the next baby pernick is still dependant on me for food. 

I’m not going to say I like fasting, but it adds something to the holiday.  Gives it a bit more meaning.  When you have a toddler who can’t sit through services, and you wind up not sitting through most of the service at all, it’s much more difficult to really get into the holiday mood – especially one as somber as Yom Kippur.

We all attended Kol Nidre[1].  Before the service actually began, they had a cellist play the tune and that captured Simeon’s attention.  Unfortunately, once that was done, so was Simeon.  As soon as Kol Nidre was over, Ari took him downstairs to change his diaper and let him play in the babysitting room.

The next morning, I failed to take Ari’s offer and stay upstairs for the Torah service.  Instead, I joined the boys for the Tot Service.  After the service, I let Ari head upstairs since I got to sit through services the night before.  At some point Ari came back down and not much later, we could tell it was Yizkor (the memorial service – it’s pretty common for those who haven’t lost their parents to not sit through this service).  Considering the time, we met up with L to discuss timing for break the fast and then headed out to get Simeon and me some lunch and let Simeon and Ari take naps.  I’m not sure I did a great job in letting Ari nap :s.

I then made the mistake of feeling like we should go to the evening service.  Usually a couple hours of standing as you plead even more fervently – symbolically watching the gates slowly close – before sealing your fate for the next year.  This was a mistake mostly because I didn’t realize there was no more babysitting room.  We got back to the synagogue way before services were due to start again (Ari sat in a study session going on) and I discovered I had to find a back way into the room with the toys. Once services started Ari and I took turns. However, since Simeon wasn’t going to wait until 8pm and L was leaving early anyway, we left services around 6:30 (about the time most people were showing up).  J stayed for the rest of services.

Break the fast was nice.  I admit we broke early but we all came back to the table to start again when J came.  In the meantime we watched the Muppet Show – I never realized before that the Swedish Chef was actually saying anything real.  I have to buy those DVDs.  J and L have seasons 1 and 2.

So…all said and done, the big things I learned for next year’s high holy days:

1. Pay the price for babysitting.  At least for Yom Kippur.  $15/day is worth it if you want to spend a couple hours there (especially considering babysitters are $10/hr).  Though it will really depend on the newest baby pernick how long we can stay.

2. Forget about the final service.  We’re about an hour’s drive (interstate driving) from the synagogue.  Go for the morning, get the most out of it that we can, then just go home, rest and go directly to whereever we need to be for break the fast.  I’m sure chasing after an 8-month old and a 3-year old will make up (physically) for not standing for 2 hours.  And i’m pretty darn sure we’ll be asking for forgiveness for whatever the kids have just done to the house or cat.

Anyway…up next is Sukkot.  I’m not sure if there’s a particular phrase that’s supposed to be said so I’ll just say an early Chag Sameach (Happy holiday!).


[1] For those who don’t know the holiday, Kol Nidre is the very beginning of the first service.  When the sun is going down, the Torahs are taken out of the Ark and the sanctuary is turned into a Jewish courtroom.  Thus begins the last opportunity to plead your case as to why you should be sealed in the book of life for another year.

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