Well Rosh Hashanah is well and truly over around these parts (suckers!) and thus begins our first full year of Israeli living.
Rosh Hashanah itself was a roller coaster of emotion. I missed my mom like crazy. Shul seemed so lonely without mom and Deb and Bubbie. I know giving all that up was a decision that we chose to make, but it is really, really hard when it comes down to it to sit there davening, surrounded by total strangers.
There were tunes I knew and tunes I did not. Some that I knew made me cry for all the memories flooding into my mind of standing next to my mom. Some that I did not know made me cry for the loneliness of not feeling a part of the crowd. Some that I knew made me sing out loud for the joy of being able to follow my dreams. Some I did not know made me happy for learning of new and beautiful melodies and watching people from aroun the world come together in one congregation.
On the whole the people in the shul where we davened are friendly and welcoming, but like any shul there are those who are more concerned about themselves than anyone else. As we joined late there was only a seat for me, but we did not actually have one for Channah. The shul said not to worry, there were always unused seats, and we should just grab one. If it was needed, we could likely just move over one or two.
So we did. First day, no problem. The woman came, we moved down two. She said thank you and was friendly and understanding once we explained the situation. Today on the other hand, we sat down in a row that was totally open and a woman came over and started berating me loudly for sitting in her daughter's seat, and how dare I and who did I think I was. I got up to move, and tried to explain the situation, but she would have none of it. Her daighter was not there (and in fact never came!) but just in case...
Another woman who I know came over and said we should just come sit with her. We did and it was all fine, but even so it put a bit of a taint on the morning. Whatever. We got the more comfy chairs out of the deal anyway.
Yestarday the bal tefilah was great. Upbeat tunes you could sing along with. The Bal tokea (shofar blower) did a reasonable job (although boy did I miss DWM and Mr. B from back home as this guy had nothing on either one of them!). today was a whole 'nother ball game. The shofar blowing was quite possibly the worst I have ever heard. Jason told me after that the guy discovered a crack in his shofar that made it hard to blow, but even once he got a different one, I don't know, maybe his confidence was shot or something, but boy did it STINK!
The bal tefilah fancied himself a chazan but was, in truth, closer to a lemur with a kazoo. The tunes were so awful for the most part that I could nto make it through so Channah and I ended up leaving early before I pulled all the hair out of my head.
Meals were great. First night we went to a neighbour with a great extended family and had a really nice time. There were actually a lot of Toronto connections to people we knew and it was fun to hear some new stories about old friends. They took their simanim pretty seriously, and we did them all. The only exception was the animal head for which they pulled the heads off gummy fish v'zehu.
Lunch was just us and it was nice, quick and followed by a good nap. We did tashlich in the afternoon at "the Zoo Rabbi" 's house as he has a pond. Before we went we were wondering what sort of person living a half hour from the dessert in a country with water shortages has a pond. Then we found out. The sort of person that calls a water feature more akin to puddle than pond a pond.
It was cute. And little.
Dinner was at friends. They took their simanim less seriously and had givelte fish with carrot mouths and pepper ball eyes :) I love them.
Lunch today they came to us and we played for a while in the afternoon. All in all nto a bad yom tov. Ok, mostly not a bad yom tov.
But I did miss my mom.