Growing up, we would go to temple on Rosh Hashana morning. Then, we’d come home for lunch before heading back for the afternoon/evening services. During this gap, there was little to do to fill the time. I didn’t watch TV, use computers or, in fact, use any electrical device.
The tempting thing to do was get a nap in. My mother would always nix this idea, though. She had a superstition that how one spent the Jewish New Year would reflect how the year to come would be. If you napped on Rosh Hashana, you might be setting yourself up for a lazy year.
So what kind of year did I set myself up for?
I began by getting the boys and myself ready for temple. B didn’t feel like going, so I took the boys by myself. I’ll admit that I didn’t get to spend as much time praying as I’d have liked. Instead, I was making sure that the boys were quiet, well-behaved, entertained and fed. (We brought quiet toys, books and snacks with us.)
When we got home, and after we ate lunch, I began to think about what I wanted to do. I began thinking about my “surprise” for B when she returned from SheStreams. I had done some cleaning in the front room to get rid of and/or organize clutter. Still, it felt like the job wasn’t completely done. There were sections of the room that hadn’t been dusted in awhile. Hard-to-reach, out of sight sections, but still sections I hadn’t touched. I dove in with the vacuum at hand*. I cleaned, dusted and vacuumed.
When I was done, I went for the boys’ room, seeking out the obscure corners that seemed to perpetually hide from the vacuum.
The next day, the boys and I headed back to temple. This time, instead of spending our time in the temple services, we took advantage of the kids’ services. Again, this meant less time for me praying, but it meant that the boys enjoyed the experience more and, to be honest, I think this was more important.
When I got home, I decided to tackle another room. This time, it was the kitchen. Again, my target was mainly the obscure areas that tended to get passed over every other time I cleaned.
So, if we were to go by the old superstition, how is my year going to go? Well, I think it means I’ll be spending quite a lot of time with the boys and I’ll pay attention to small details that are usually overlooked. Not a bad way for the year to go!
* When I was younger, I didn’t use any electrical device. Since then, I’ve re-examined my religious practices. Now I follow the “don’t work at your occupation” rule. Anything that could be used to do work for my job is set aside. This includes computers, phones, and writing. Luckily, I don’t vacuum for a living, so that’s allowed.