Quick pre-Shabbat update
1- Guess who got to go to the ER again? Yup. My roommate's back gave out (an 8-year-old fracture in her vertebra has been acting up), and I went with her to the ER at Hadassah Ein Karem. We were in and out pretty fast, so though it took up a morning, it didn't turn into an overnight saga or anything. Unfortunately, she's still in a lot of pain, and neither the percocet nor the codeine she's been prescribed are helping enough. I feel really bad for her.
2- Rosh Hashanah at the Solomonts was amazing as always. The prayer services (in the social hall of their synagogue) were meaningful, just slow enough to think about what you are saying but not so slow that it "shleps" out. The fact that in Israel, there are no "Rosh Hashanah appeals," no long sermon, and no bidding on aliyot really helped. Both days, shofar blowing was around 10:50 am (after a half-hour break so people could go home and have something to eat), and we were home for lunch by -- I don't know -- I think 12:30 or so. Maybe 1 o'clock, latest.
What I really loved was the singing at the meals -- with 4 and 5 part harmonies -- 6 part harmonies! -- and Sarah Beth's "questions of the meal." That, combined with the freedom they give guests to "just chill," helped me have a truly meaningful experience, with lots of time to reflect.
Sarah Beth cooked so much food, I think I'm going to explode. And that's including the fact that both lunches were dairy . . . it doesn't really make things "lighter" if "dairy" means fettucini alfredo and a chocolate mousse cake. Oh my God.
3- Shabbat plans: tonight I'm going to my next-door neighbors for a meal for the first time. We've been on friendly terms but this is the first time they are having us over. Liza is invited too but doesn't know how long she can sit up. Tomorrow: Relax around the house with Liza's home-made challah and my tuna patties, stir-fried veggies, and egg salad. We're keeping things very simple because both of us are still recovering from the four-in-a-row feast experience of Rosh Hashanah.
4- I've been pitching stories to some highly competitive magazines. Wish me luck (and give me work!)