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Sunday, June 8, 2008

"I like to celebrate Shavuot the way my father does," Moshe informed me, that first Shavuot after we married.

I intended to learn all night, then walk to the Kotel (Western Wall) and daven (pray) "haneitz" (at sunrise).

"What does your father do on Shavuot?" I asked Moshe, innocently.

"He goes to shul (synagogue), davens, comes home and eats a seudah (festive meal)," Moshe answered simply.

"And then....?" I prompted.

"And then he goes to sleep." Moshe finished the sentance.

Clearly, Moshe and I had different ideas about celebrating Shavuot.

After dinner, Moshe went to sleep. I met up with my good friend, TS. Together, we went to shiurim, then walked to the Kotel, and, after davening, back home again. Eventually, when my kids were still quite little, I would stop at home, wake them up, and they would join us on our walk to the Kotel.

Before heading back home, we would stop by Moshe's cousins, who live in the Old City. We would hear kiddush (special blessing on wine), have some cheesecake, and catch up on what is new. We would often speak about other issue as well. (One year, they spent the morning trying to convince us to send our kids to a different school)

The husband of another cousin also stops by, and we usually leave together. One year, he carried A, who was really tired, half the way home.

A few years ago, my friend stopped going to the Kotel for morning davening. By then, my kids were enthusiastic about the journey, and old enough to provide company and converstation along the way.

For years, that's how we spent Shavuot.

Then we moved to Homat Shmuel. Though there are families who walk the 1 1/2 hours to and from the Old City, I have initiated a new family tradition. Our family returns to Katamon for Shavuot. This way, not only can I continue to attend a multitude of shiurim in English, I also enjoy the shorter 1/2 hour walk to the Old City. For the past three years, our friends, J & NS, have graciously opened their home to us. This year, it as already a hazakah (established precedent). We were pleased to discover that we were expected, even before we officially made the arrangements. :-)

Two years ago, for the first time, Moshe joined me for the first shiur, before heading back to our hosts to go to sleep.

Last year, for the first time, Moshe and the kids joined me for the first shiur of the evening. Then the kids went back to sleep and Moshe accompanied me to all the shiurim. It was so nice walking from shiur to shiur with him, discussing the various subjects along the way.

We will see what will be this year...

Chag HaBikurim Sameach!! (Happy Holiday!!)

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Gila said...

Nu? What was it?

RivkA with a capital A said...

oh, yeah! Forgot to post the follow up....