Friday, October 28, 2005

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly—High-Holiday-Season Highlights, part 1: Elul forshbeis (appetizer), aka “prep time”

First, there was that visit to my parents (and my brother, nieces and nephew) in Israel.

It was a pleasure to see my parents, but painful to see the toll that time had taken.

Going Israeli folk dancing in Israel was great fun.

But it was sad to witness the displacement of so many people—we arrived in the middle of the hitnatkut, the withdrawal from Gaza. In the final analysis, it didn’t matter whether you were in favor or opposed—the end result was that thousands of people were suddenly homeless.

Singing at an outdoor concert in Yerushalayim was wonderful.

But we were sad that we don’t know my brother’s children better.

With barely enough turn-around time to do some laundry in between trips, we drove the son back to college. Time to rest? Fat chance.

Normally, wild horses couldn’t get me up early on a Sunday, my one day to sleep late. But when the wild horse is one of my best friends at shul, and she practically begs me to “ride shotgun” in another congregant’s car to help the driver carry the huge boxes of pastries from the kosher bakery to her trunk so that we’ll have goodies to sell at the outdoor flea market . . .Bleary-eyed, we arrive at the shul, boxes of goodies stacked in the back.

At about 8:30 AM.

Well, as long as I have to stick around anyway to see whether M. needs any more help, I might as well get on the computer and do some of that synagogue-bulletin editing that didn’t get done while I was in Israel.

And as long as I’m here anyway, might as well go to minyan.

So there I am, in the middle of tying one on (I’m always in the middle of tying one on—have you any idea how long it takes a late-learner like me to lay tefillin??! On the plus side, at least I’ve gotten good enough at it that they don’t usually slide all the way down to my wrist halfway through Shacharit anymore.)

Er, um, where was I before I so rudely interrupted myself in the middle of a sentence?

Oh, yes. So there I was, in the middle (as usual) of laying tefillin when the rabbi starts davvening aloud, “Ki vo yismach libeinu, ki v’shem kodsho batachnu. Y’hi chasdecha Hashem aleinu, ka-asher yichalnu lach.”

Say WHAT???!!!

After the service, I go on one of my quote hunts, and find it in that two-page “anthology” of miscellaneous quotes right after Baruch She-amar. “For in Him will our hearts be glad, for in His Holy Name we trusted. May Your kindness be upon us, just as we awaited You.” So that’s where Mark got the words to Ki Vo Yismach! (Just keep a-scrollin' through that radio blog--it's in there somewhere.)

And I add another paragraph to what I davven of P’sukei D’Zimra.

More later, folks—it gets better. 'Cause, apparently, I don't know the half of it. Literally. :) Stay tuned.


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