The Jewish New Year is bittersweet for me because it requires looking over my shoulder; in particular, it means missing my parents. My husband might be described as memory neutral when it comes to the religious impact of his childhood. Therefore, any acknowledgement of the holiday, be it going to services, eating a special dinner, etc. must be initiated by me. I’ve gotten lazy over the years and no longer care whether I attend services or not. This admission brings Jewish guilt.
The Jewish New Year brings back memories of my childhood and time of year that was of great importance to my mother. She was not a particularly religiously observant person, but she fervently held on to the High Holidays and expected her children to follow suit without question. This meant going to religious services at our conservative synagogue for both the first and second mornings of Rosh Hashonah, an inevitably dull and tedious affair for me.
Because the synagogue wasn’t large, if there was a crowd of congregants, children had their own boring services in the ugly basement of the temple building. Teenagers could move out of the basement and into the sanctuary.
At least in the sanctuary of the synagogue, I was able to stare at the stained glass windows to relieve the tedium of a service in a language I could read but could not understand. I did enjoy the traditional music and would come to life when they were sung because I knew the lovely old melodies and had memorized the Hebrew words. Continue reading “The Jewish New Year Demise of the Fabulous Red Petticoat”