September 10, 2010

Rosh Hashanah

Inspecting their etrogs
Today is Rosh Hashanah (at least it is in these here parts).  For us it means a day of with no school and no homework.  In fact the teachers are not allowed to assign any on this holy day.  Which is a nice break from being hard at work in school for what, eight grueling days?  My hard working students celebrated by playing Zelda on the Wii all day.  They did take some breaks to eat and to look up cheats on the internet.  You can tell I raised them right.  Actually they are only supposed to play for a couple hours max but with 3 boys playing and the other 2 watching during their off time it ends up being a pretty long stretch sitting on your bum.  Yeah, I am aware that it needs to change.  I was a bigger stickler during the summer but hey, it's Rosh Hashanah! *breaking a dish in the fireplace*

(I am not aware of anything that says you break dinnerware during the Rosh Hashanah holiday btw)

When I told the boys at 4:00pm that the deadline for the day was up and they needed to turn off Zelda I wasn't at all surprised when my oldest son told me he never got a turn today.  I wonder how that happened?  Undeniable selfless sacrifice?  Or distracted zoning out while watching your brothers play themselves into a stupor?  At least middle boy had the sense to get on his bike and hook up with a buddy to play outside on this gorgeous Rosh Hashanah day.  Right now Big Boy is watching a classic on Netflix called UHF.  It's got Weird Al in it.  He's laughing hysterically.  I love that guy (Big Boy not Weird Al, although Weird Al is okay too).  What better way to celebrate the Jewish new year than with Weird Al Yankovic?  I am not sure if he's Jewish or not but his name sounds like he is.

Speaking of Jewish people, I used to live in a city south of here that was pretty densely populated with Orthodox Jews.  Not just your typical Woody Allen type, but the ones in big black hats with curls instead of sideburns.  In fact the neighbor next door was the local Rabbi.  They were a lovely couple and we became true friends.  We still keep in touch.  Over the years of T's residency I grew increasingly aware of all their holiday traditions.  Mostly because it seemed that each Jewish Holiday involved a lot of activity from the entire congregation over at Rabbi A's home.  My favorite holiday was the one based on the story of Ester. It was like Jewish Halloween around our cul-de-sac.  All these children and teens dressed in costume, some dancing circle-style in the street.  Some teenaged boys got a bit tipsy since the tradition also involved drinking.  But they were religious drunks not dangerous ones so I didn't worry too much.  Then there is another holiday where palm leaves and etrogs are given out, of course, from the Rabbi's home.  So lots of comings and goings.  What?  You don't know what an etrog is? Neither did I (and it's still foggy) but every year Mrs A would give one to each of my children during the week of Sukkot.  They smelled of lemons and looked a bit like yellow squash.  Each one had it's own box to keep them perfectly unblemished.  My kids thought they were the best gift ever bestowed upon them.  I have some pretty cool Jewish stories to tell but since this post is already long enough and it is getting late, I will save them like a watch salesman in a trench coat hanging out in a dark alley and pull them out for the telling one at a time.  Stay tuned for my next Jewish installment, wherein I will tell you about the time I bought enough chametz to make me as rich as Tevya dreamed of being for 8 days during passover.


Cheeseboy said...

Hey, I am half Jewish (well decent) and I didn't get squat today!! This doesn't seem fair. Sure, there are not many Jews in Utah, but you'd still think the powers at be could cancel school for me! At least just let me go home.

noyb said...

Judaism has always fascinated me and i am not sure why. i made one orthodox jewish friend(quite by accident) when i was an adult. she is really patient in explaining everything i ask her about. she really has no tact, but for some reason she doesnt offend me. even the time i saw her right around Christmas and she declared "if anyone read the Torah the would know that Jesus could not be the messiah. its impossible." just rolled off my back-which is NOT my nature. i love all the traditions and holidays. i would love to go to a seder.

Chaka said...

We definitely need more Jewish education in Utah. My wife is fascinated with it. She is currently having our kids read "The Chosen" and she wants to learn Hebrew.

We often joke about some of the Jewish holidays we are not familiar with, but I guess it goes both ways. Years ago I spoke with an acquaintance in New York and he was going to ship something out to my work. I told him we wouldn't be open on July 24th because it was Pioneer day. He couldn't believe there was such a holiday and thought I was just joking.

KGC Blend said...

I have always been fascinated by this culture as well. So obedient to so many rules. So unruffled by the world and it's tendencies. It's really cool.

Bob and Julie said...

Always so interesting to me how different things are in various parts of the US. Very few people around here even knows what Rosh Hashanah is. Although...we know Cinco de Mayo!! :)

It's been fun reading through your blog and catching up. I've been absent in the blogging world since January...didn't realize how long it was. You're just as amazing as ever. I loved the boys violin playing and reading about all the accomplishments of your kiddos. You are great examples!!! Thanks for the friendship!!