So we’ve just finished the first leg of the High Holiday season, Rosh Hashana, with all the honey-dipping, marathon-eating, King-crowning fanfare the holiday entails. While the standard protocol for celebrants is to spend the day in synagogue in deep, introspective prayer, my Rosh Hashana was spent almost entirely at home, tending to my sick little guy, Akiva.
In past years, it’s likely I would have resented not being able to have my quality time with God in synagogue, hearing the shofar live and giving my soul a good shakedown. This year, however, I felt nothing but contented and peaceful being able to stay home and care for my child. As a Jewish mother, my primary work is to build a “Bayit Ne’eman”, an enduring home for my family, and tending to sick kids is part of the job description. So really, I was having just as spiritual a day in my apartment as anyone in intense prayer at the shul down the street. Plus, while Akiva slept, I got to have the quiet time I REALLY needed to focus on what my goals are for the coming year and what I can be thankful for in the year that has passed. I, for one, am grateful that Sima Ellie and Huvi, 11 and 9, walked Yonah to synagogue by themselves for the first time today (it’s about a four-block trek) and were very proud of themselves. Sima Ellie, in fact, turned around to squeal, “I’m so excited!” as they were leaving.
Now we enter the Aseret Yemei Teshuva, the ten days of repentance, when the Heavenly Gates are open to our prayers and entreaties to God, when we are capable of great changes and can alter the course of our lives in the year to come before the gates close officially on Yom Kippur. May we all take advantage of this time to look inward and make positive changes for this year. And for those moms who, like me, can barely think past the next peanut butter sandwich, let alone make a full-scale spiritual accounting, let us at least embrace this special season with joy and get through the demands of holiday cooking and cleaning with a sense of peace and purpose.
A blog from the mind of Rea: mother, wife, writer, musician, seeker, health food kook, world traveler, film geek and 12 stepper. If you're looking for a sassy mix of music, tips and tricks, anecdotes and thoughts on life (lived on the front line!) you've come to the right place. Happy Reading!