Sunday, September 20, 2009

Scenes from a holiday weekend

The girls ring in the New Year in the traditional way, dipping apples and challah into honey, and in the not-so-traditional way, dipping apples and challah into maple syrup. They certainly are joyous, and sticky. They both strip off their shirts and enjoy the first meal of 5770 half naked.

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Unsatisfied with the unstructured children's service, our girls wander in and out of the main service, mostly quietly. I summon them a page before each time the shofar, the ancient ram's horn, will be blown. Pick me up! Pick me up! exclaims E excitedly. Sho coming! Sho coming! exclaims L. Sho all gone, she laments when regular chanting resumes.

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We walk through Rock Creek Park en route to the evening outdoor service, the annual tashlikh ritual where we throw bread crumbs into moving water and symbolically cast off our sins, starting the new year with a clean slate. The girls throw their bread, hear more shofar, stomp along the metal bridge, run along the blacktop path. Every thirty or so feet, E drops to her hands. On your mark, get set, go! she yells until some unseen finish line. Mama! I broke the tape! L drops a second later on each race. On mahk, go! Yay!! They run the half-mile back to our car. They both win the races.

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In his sermon this morning our rabbi quoted from David Kraemer in the new forthcoming High Holy Days prayer book.
“Remember” is a pivotal biblical verb. But review the list of its appearances and you will discover an interesting phenomenon: God is described as remembering far more often than are humans. Memory is, primarily, a divine quality, representing God’s ability to overcome the limitations of a particular time, to see the part as one segment of a far greater whole. When humans remember, therefore, we are imitating God, overcoming our own limits and, in God-like fashion, identifying with the breadth of history. Remembering is essential, because memory is divine. It is part of what makes us images of God. Fundamentally, our memory is who we are.

I think my rabbi was saying to keep on blogging. Pin It