Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Shana Tova

On Rosh Hashanah eve of 1971 I was a homesick college co-ed spending my first holiday away from home. Calling my parents was pure torture, for me as I struggled not to cry, and for them as they heard the misery in my voice. Hanging up from them I lighted my candles all by myself in my dorm room.
Then I sat down to my makeshift Yom Tov meal at my desk. Afterwards, I made my lonely way across campus to the holiday service organized by Hillel, The Jewish Student Union.

A student rabbi had been brought in for the occasion. I really don’t recall what kind of job he did. What I do remember, and always will, was the student helping him out. That student was tall, with sixty-style long hair, and wearing a black shirt. He later became my husband.       

Forty-three years later I don’t eat alone on the holidays. In preparation for this three-day Rosh Hashanah I have filled my freezer full of cooked meat, chicken, casseroles, and cakes. As full as it is, there is still more to cook.  If all’s well, my table will be crowded with family, and friends and neighbors who have become like family.

I have learned that on Rosh Hashanah we keep our personal petitions at a minimum. More important is to proclaim HaShem King and to pray for the Jewish nation as a whole. My prayer, this year, is that there should be no more lonely people.  Rather we should all reach out and care about one another becoming united and able to bring the Moshiach. 

May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life.

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