Our ancestors definitely should be appreciated. They essentially made us who are today. Without them, we wouldn't exist.We've already researched quite a bit on the history of both sides of my family. It's interesting to see where they came from, their stories, etc.
Yom Kippur started Tuesday night, and ended the following night. Usually there's a really nice rabbi from the URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) who lead these services. He was promoted or something through the organization, and couldn't do it this time. So, we had someone barely anyone knew. Keep in mind, this is like the 'holiest' day of the year for us. So it's important.I like meeting new people, and seeing how differently they can lead a service. Gives a new approach, and makes it more interesting. But, her 'style' was far too lax. Which would have been nice for a Shabbat service or something. I heard a lot of people felt the same way. I did not have a problem with her age, although many people did. I figure, it doesn't matter what age you are, it just matters if you're qualified and good at it. You don't have to be in your 50s or 60s to be that way.
Anyways, someone was very nice and carpooled 2 more people besides me. Everyone wanted to talk to me during all of the services, and at one point, were fighting over who I should sit with for the Break-the-Fast potluck.It was quite interesting. I'm not used to that sort of attention.
I decided to sit at different spots than I did for Rosh Hashanah. Since those bugs freaked me out. This time, there was only one skeeter eater. None of those weird small black bugs. So, yay! I wasn't bitten again.I also noticed, that sitting in the back, I got the chance to see a lot more people. It seemed more 'communal' or together this way. So, maybe I should sit in the back more often?
The next day, for the Torah service, one of the aliyah was for people who've been apart of the congregation for at least 15 years. (An aliyah is a calling of a member/group to the bimah, at the front of the room, where the Torah is read. It's a huge honor.) So, I had to go up there.It was one of the last ones, so I had to stay up there with about 8 other people for a while. Tried to block out the congregation staring at us the whole time. I get nervous when I'm in the spotlight. Although, I can focus while up there, it still rattles me a bit.
I think more people showed up than usual for Torah study later. It was nice, but they seemed to have ignored my point. We were talking about what being made in G-d's image really means. Maimonides had said that it's really referring to our minds. Just like G-d, man can think and understand without any physical actions. He says this 'intellectual independence' of thought is the 'G-d's image' in which man was created. I really like this take on it. Plus, the idea that G-d is every gender, and yet none. He's beyond our comprehension. (I only use 'he', because it's easier. Some others use 'her'.) The rabbi had also brought in a couple of excerpts from the Hunger Games. I thought that was a bit odd. I'm not very interested in it.But, the points she brought up were good.
I almost broke down in tears during the Yizkor (memorial) service. The list of people the congregation was remembering was very long. (I think longer than last year.) Started to tear up a bit when Mom's name was mentioned. Started to tear even more reading some of the 'extra' text. I thought that wouldn't happen. The person who drove me, immediately hugged me tight. It was like bone crushing.But, nice that she was trying to let me know it was ok to cry. I know it was ok, but I feel funny in a room full of people, first off. I've always felt funky about crying. Lately, I've tried to let myself cry, but it's weird when you've bottled it up for a while. Anyways, it was nice to know so many people cared about me, too.
For the potluck, I brought a salad that had a spring greens mix, grape tomatoes, and a couple of chopped up carrots. Ranch and Italian dressings on the side, if anybody wanted. Seemed really plain, and I wasn't sure if anybody would touch it. Apparently, it was a big hit. People were crowding around it so much, I couldn't get any for myself.It was almost gone at the end. (I couldn't finish it off because someone dumped a huge thing of nasty smelling cheese in, and took the utensils and used them for something else. Oh joy!) Someone said that after fasting, people want something 'fresh'. I guess that would be as fresh as it could be. It was sitting on the table (covered) for about 3 hours beforehand, though. I didn't see too many 'green' things, so maybe that was another factor.
There was a lot of pasta and potato dishes. Maybe I was the only one who adhered to my last name's initial for what to bring.Oh well. At least there was enough food to go around. We've had years where people didn't bring enough, and it's gone in like 15 minutes. So I'm glad for the last few years we've been able to have enough food. I managed to talk a lot with people, to the point that we suddenly realized they were cleaning up. It's all good when that happens. Hopefully, I won't go for another year without seeing some of these people. That same person who drove me to these services says she'd be happy to pick me up to go to Shabbat services Saturday morning. I thought it'd be too soon. Like too much 'Jewish stuff'. For some, it is right away after these 2 holidays.
Sukkot starts on Sunday night. It's a harvest festival that lasts for 8 days. So there's still some more holidays coming up. Yom Kippur just didn't feel right without Mom.Even when I was in college, I was able to call her and compare what services were like over there.