Saturday, September 22, 2012

Days of Awe-some

It's holiday season.  You know how it is in the US around the end of October when everything goes green and red and all of the ads start mentioning the holidays? 

Here too.  Except for the green and red.  And except it's not the end of October, it's the end of August. 

Everywhere you go in Israel, the billboards and store ads mention the chagim and wish you a good new year. 

Even the Egged buses have shana tova flashing on their screens.  It's such a different mindset for us used-to-be-living-in-America types.  Even the eggs in the grocery store have "shana tova" stamped on each one!

So there I was, in shul on Rosh Hashana, looking out at the beautiful hills around Modiin.  I kept thinking, "My own ancestors walked these hills at one time, made their way to Jerusalem to the Temple, built homes and cities, fought, died."  Yes, I was being melodramatic, but it was Rosh Hashana, so, you know, you kinda get serious.

What can I say?  It just feels authentic living here, that's the best way I can describe it.  

Today our Rav gave his Shabbos Shuva drasha - it was done in the morning instead of the afternoon because Modiin's Chief Rabbi, Rav Lau, gave an afternoon drasha that the entire city was invited to (no, I did not go, as it was a 40 minute walk in bajillion degree heat).  We really like this Rabbi - he's a Yerushalmi, going back many, many generations, and is a descendant of the Gra - the Vilna Gaon.  So that's cool. AND he speaks Hebrew slowly and clearly enough for me to kind of understand.

The drasha was good - how do I know?  Because I understood it!  Yes, it was in Hebrew, don't be a smarty pants.  Now, let's not say that I understood every single word.  I mean, I'm glad that when Rabbis speak they kind of repeat themselves a bit so that if you don't get it the first way they say it, maybe you'll get it another way.  So he'd say something, I'd kind of get it, but then he'd repeat it another way (at least I think that's what he did, otherwise I missed a LOT of it) -  and I'd get it.

I still get excited when I hear a word I know, and do a little dance and punch my fist into the air (subtly) - "Yes!  I know that word!  yay me!!! I really remember that from Ulpan, wow, that's great" - but then by the time I'm finished celebrating the Rabbi is two paragraphs ahead of me, so I really have to stop doing that.

In Bubby news, little Nadav (age 2) is my new Hebrew buddy.  His vocabulary is growing (he now says "Bubby" very clearly and I get a big loud "Hi Bubby!" when I walk in.)  He also orders me around.  He tells me to sit, stand, come in, leave, put things HERE, THERE,  read to him.  All in Hebrew.  See, his Hebrew and mine are at about the same level so we're good.  Also, he knows I will give him candy at any time.  I think that has cemented our relationship.  The other day his mother unwittingly left him with his supplier, who stopped him from wailing by offering him M&Ms AND a lollipop - look, man, you gotta do what you gotta do.

So back to melodramatic (briefly) - we are about to have Yom Kippur, my first ever in Israel. I don't know if you can say this about Yom Kippur, but I'm looking forward to it.

Maybe by this time next year I'll be wriitng this blog in Hebrew.  I'll ask Nadav for help with the big words. If he's not too busy sitting in a bucket.


1 comment:

  1. I appreciate the holiday season here so much more this year. I think last year I was still too overwhelmed with having just arrived in July. I just love, love, love everything associated with the chagim here.
    Nadav is a cute buddy to have.