There were many firsts for me this year. First time as an Olah Chadashah making Rosh Hashanah in Israel. First time really making RH in my own home since Barry died. First time having RH with my MARRIED daughter, her husband, my grandson. First time having my mechutenet come stay in my home and join us for RH. First time planning, preparing, cooking, etc for RH WITH my daughter. And of course, there were the first fruits, in my case it was first time ever eating FRESH Tamarim (dates), the Rimonim (which grow here on the Yishuv in ABUNDANCE), some starfruit, and Passi-Flora (aka Passion Fruit), which I just LOVE.
I davened, for the very first time ever, at Beit Rimon, which is a shul just around the corner from my home. Up until now, I had gone to Glenwood to daven - which is a HUGE American shul in the Yishuv. I chose to daven there because of its inherent familiarity for me. I already know many of the members, the davening is familiar, the tunes used are those I know, it is Nusach Ashkenaz, and so on. But upon inquiry about seats there for the Yomim Noraim I was dismayed to learn that they cost money, there is an expectation of membership, and eventually of building fund support as well. Additionally, I could not be guaranteed a place to sit where I would be able to both seen and hear, and thus be able to participate in the davening. I was told I would likely be seated downstairs -- meaning sitting on cheap plastic chairs which would aggravate yet another of my conditions, namely, my bad back (from a back injury sustained in n1996), and compounded by arthritis in my hips, knees, and ankles. Furthermore, there was no way that my very pregnant daughter would be able to tolerate sitting for very long on such a seat. Then, when we decided that my mechutenet and her teenage daughter and son would be joining us, I knew that there was no way we could arrange seating that would be acceptable for all of us. So, I somewhat reluctantly abandoned all thoughts of davening at Glenwood. We then inquired into the situation at Beit Rimon. We were informed that there is no charge for seats, and it is set up on a first come, first served basis. For me, that worked. I am a morning person and I knew that I would arrive at the shul before anyone else and thus would be guaranteed an appropriate seat.
It worked out rather nicely for the most part. The downside to the seat I chose is that it is far from the entrance and not ideal for Chloe. She did not stay very long anyway stemming from needs associated with Gavriel. So she chose, for the most part, to sit right near the entrance, albeit on a plastic chair. But both Yael (my mechutenet) and Liora (her daughter) were able to sit near me. To be sure, the woman who usually sat where I was did ask me to move but I explained to her my reason and need to sit there. She was still a bit (obvious to me) annoyed, but after a few minutes she felt badly that she let me know she was annoyed and she said "Shana Tova" to me in an apologetic tone. It WAS an inconvenience to her and her family as they could not all sit in the same row. But even if I had moved elsewhere, and I could have, I would have been asked to move by others. So, I chose to stick to where I was sitting.
I did meet a number of people at Beit Rimon, some whom I knew already, and others whom I just met. All were very welcoming of me. In fact, I felt more welcomed there than at Glenwood. It could simply be that the place is smaller.
Beit Rimon turned out to be PERFECT for me. I can see and I can hear and I can participate in the davening. I learned some new (and beautiful) tunes, and Nusach Sefard is only slightly different from Nusach Ashkenaz and I can get used to it. I am so glad that we went there and I plan to daven there from now on.
We ate several of our meals at home and several of our meals out. It seems that we cooked a humongous amount of food, and we did -- but it was not for all meals. Between me and Chloe and Jonathan we made the following: Roasted Rosemary and Garlic Chicken, Roasted Rosemary and Garlic Potatoes, Roasted Orange Root Veggies, Balsamic and Honey Glazed Carrots, Banana Cake, Vanilla Plum Cake, 2 trays Eggplant Parmigiana, String Beans with Honey Mustard Sauce, 7 Challot, gefilte fish, cheesecake, pasta salad, bruschetta, garlic bread, cranberry apple crumble, sephardic honey nut cake, asian cabbage salad and flourless chocolate cake with
whipped cream, schnitzels, mango salsa, lemonana and iced tea.
We still have some leftovers: eggplant parmigiana and chicken. We have at least 2 meals in leftovers.
Anyway, that was my RH...