Today I celebrated the Jewish New Year. In America.
What the heck are you still doing in America??, you ask, acknowledging that the school year is starting and we live in Dubai.
Well, friends, that's a story for another day. A long story. One I don't have the energy to share now. But I will soon, I promise.
No, today I just wanted to tell you about spending Rosh Hashanah in America, after nearly two years in the UAE.
It was, in a word, wonderful.
It was wonderful because...
It was the first time that my 5-year-old daughter could follow along in the prayerbook, and participate in the responsive readings.
The melodies and songs were all familiar, and even if I didn't remember the exact words, I had the gist.
So many members of the congregation went out of their way to welcome us, knowing of our travels and appreciating that for us, this was not just another high holiday.
My 3-year-old daughter was invited by a little boy from the temple summer camp to go sit with him and his family on the other side of the room... and she happily went, without once looking back.
None of my kids cried or fussed during the service.
We got to hear the shofar being blown, which, if you ask me, is always good luck.
Afterwards, we went to the home of my oldest friend, and were treated to a delightful meal that was warm and comforting and reminiscent of everything that means "family."
None of my kids cried or fussed during the long car ride.
I was celebrating in a country where the Jewish holiday was not ignored or tolerated, but, as evidenced by the widespread school closings, respected.
I didn't feel like I was missing out.
This year, I was on the inside.
This year... I am coming home.
I wish you and yours a year of joy, possibilities, and above all, peace. Shana tova. xoxo.