Monday, September 21, 2020

The New Jewish Year 5781 Has Begun, So Far Amazing

Happy 5781
Here's my Be a HEAD not a Tail

On one hand I must admit that Rosh Hashana was awfully depressing. I miss having guests and being hosted. I remember the days when our dining room extended into the living room with multiple tables, all the family plus guests. And then we'd be hosted by neighbors for other holiday meals.

This year my husband and I ate by ourselves, alone, just the two of us. Our children had their own holiday meals. We'll be eating leftovers for the next few days, and I'll try not to think of way back when...

It has been months and months since I've entered the local shul, which is literally in our backyard. I stopped staying for the entire prayer service about a year or more ago when I found the the cold drafts too uncomfortable. I even bought a hooded coat that makes me look like Darth Vardar in powder blue. I decided to give up on the "window wars," preferring not to fight with anyone. 

We had to sign up for the limited seats for this Rosh Hashana, so I took the plunge. Then a neighbor, who knows me well, said:

"You'll be miserable and leave immediately. The new regulations require open windows."

So I decided to try something new. There's an outdoor minyan almost directly across from my house. I set up a chair just outside the door, and that became my private "Ezrat Nashim," Women's Section. Since it's well in my property, I didn't even need to wear a mask. I could hear most everything, thank Gd.

Even better, I heard lots of shofar blowing. The early minyan a bit further way must have blown shofar outside, since I heard theirs. And of course I heard the park one. And I heard from our synagogue, the Yemenite minyan and when someone blew for neighbors across the street.

The neighborhood was live with the sounds of shofar blowing!

The multitude of prayer groups all over was so much better and more spiritual than sitting in a packed synagogue.

Actually, once the government allowed limited numbers to pray in the synagogue, my husband returned and sits in his regular spot. The synagogue is much emptier than it used to be. Many neighbors now pray in parks and backyards, so as long as the ones who prefer the shul building spread out, it's considered "safe."

During our family Pre-Rosh Hashanah zoom, I had been asked to give a blessing to all the clan. I found myself saying:
"Be thankful for what you have."
This may not have been what anyone expected; the usual blessing is for health. But I wonder if this whole corona COVID life change/challenge/pandemic has been to shake us up. Maybe Gd wants us to look and what we have and be grateful/thankful. Suddenly we're so limited/restricted, and we must learn to accept and welcome it. 

There's an expression:
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Right now, unless you're a scientist working on a cure or vaccine for corona COVID, you're best off trying to make lemonade. I've also been crocheting. 

What sort of lemonade have you been making?

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