~Monday, September 24, 2012

Observances of my first Rosh Hashanah

  • You can accidentally refer to it as church about 6 times and no one will correct you.
  • At the dinner table someone said this and I got so excited I reached over and slapped Abraham. I got this one: 
"May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace."
  • So... they also say Lord?
  • Also I saw a reference to Satan in the hymn book thing.
  • Actually the temple service wasn't that different than church.
  • The singing was pretty.
  • Although I would have appreciated the Hebrew to be spelled phonetically, so I could at least pretend to follow along.
  • Every time they did something that I didn't know about, I got really panicked.
  • For instance, someone really should have warned me that a man was going to blow into a ram's horn and it makes a terrifying, terrifying sound.
  • They took bets on how long the horn lasted.
  • It lasted 11 frightening seconds.
  • I asked what to wear to temple. I was told to wear the same thing I would wear to work, so I wore a green dress, pink belt and nude pumps. I looked nice. I even got Abe to approve the dress.
  • Everyone in temple wore black. I looked like a damn crayon.
  • With the green dress and my straight hair, I felt like I really didn't fit in.
  • People talk in temple. Like people will turn around and have conversations with each other while the service is going on. This is not the same as church.
  • Actually, they even keep the doors to the temple open so you can come and go as you please during the service. We got there at 10:00 and walked out randomly at 1:30.
  • They also don't do that at church.
  • I was warned about gefilte fish (Abe called it the hot dog of the sea and didn't touch it), and I was told I didn't have to eat it, but I liked it.
  • I, however, did not like fake chopped liver. It's hard to go there after knowing the real thing.
  • Jewish history started with a couple named Abraham and Sarah.


Je m'appelle Danielle said...

Hot dog of the sea, wow. That pretty much sums it up for me when I see those fleshy chunks floating in those glass jars.

Ok, last point made: Aww

Robyn said...

brilliant.have learnt a lot. think will fit in..with my curly hair and all!ha

Tiffany said...

I hadn't caught the Abraham and Sarah thing until now...but I love it!

I went to a Jewish funeral and Shiva for my friend's grandpa and got all excited and slapped my friend saying, "I know this one!" when they read the 23rd Pslam. Turns out it's worded a bit differently than in the Bible. Fail.


Anonymous said...

"•Jewish history started with a couple named Abraham and Sarah"--if that's not FATE I don't know what is. Congratulations! :)

AmericanBridget (Jones) said...

Proud of you for trying the g-fish thing. I was once told by an ex that shrimp were roaches of the sea. Never been the same for me.

Love the Jewish history of Abraham and Sarah - it's destiny my friend!

Dawn said...

You ate gefilte fish... and liked it???? That makes you a better Jew than I am. (I feel like barfing when I even *think* of it.)

Don't worry about looking like a crayon and not understanding any of what was said. You were like a breath of fresh air there... and many people (Jewish or not) don't understand a word of what's being said.

All good, "Abraham and Sarah!" <-- LOVE!

Anonymous said...

L'Chaim! I also felt panicked and out of place because I wore a Lilly dress and everyone else was like dark hair (I'm very very blond) with dark clothes. Stuck out like a sore thumb. Good job!!!

Red Stethoscope said...

Whoa...never thought about the Abraham and Sarah thing before!

Anonymous said...


Breeza said...

Love this! So cool about Abe and Sarah!

Toddy said...

Really funny. It is amazing how different various cultures and religions can be and all it takes is some light humor and trying to understand things in the context of what we already know to embrace these things. Nice post, T.

The Mad Inscriber said...

* Lord is a direct translation from the Hebrew.
* Yeah, Satan shows up too. He's a bit different tho - he's a servant of God too. But that's a much longer conversation.
* There are, in fact, prayer books with transliteration. You should probably find a set.
* The point of the shofar is to frighten the soul into being good. More or less. So. Mission accomplished?
* Rosh Hashana / Yom Kippur: For future notice, wear black, white, or navy. On Yom Kippur, wear non-leather shoes.
* Yes, between the talking and the ambulation, it's far less structured than church.
* I actually like gefilte fish, but the stuff in the jar is sub par. Hopefully someday you'll get to try the homemade loaf type. So good. (Also I'm fasting so this sounds even better right now.)
* Sorry you got fake chopped liver; real chopped chicken liver is definitely a kosher tradition.
* Heehee. Also, we used to have a pair of ducks that came every passover to my grandmother's back yard - it was a stop on their migration route. So of course we named them Abraham and Sarah, and fed them matza crumbs. Which for future reference aren't great for birds in large quantities.

Bathwater said...

You are really going the extra mile here. I applaud your patience. I actually like those long black coats the Orthodox Jewish men wear.

Always go with black when in doubt, never trust a man's opinion.

Anonymous said...

You're so committed to Abe. You probably qualify as the best girlfriend in history.


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