Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We Now Return to Everyday Life

The holidays are over. Simchat Torah was great. We finished reading the last verses of Devarim (Deuteronomy) and start the annual cycle over again with Bereshit (Genesis). We danced with the Torah Scrolls and all the men took turns carrying one around while reciting from the prayer book. The really big partying took place last night, with a somewhat more subdued version taking place today in the shul proper.

In our shul (synagogue) the nighttime dancing always spills out into the street and the procession of Torahs and dancing, singing men wends its way from corner to corner until they make it back to where they started. Dear Child had a wonderful time, carried on her father's back. I stood just outside the shul, waving her stuffed Torah, as cars honked cheerfully at everybody.

But now life returns to normal. No more 2 day holidays in the middle of the week. In fact, no more holidays until Hanukkah, which will be late in December this year. In some ways this is good. It's hard to get much work done when you're only in the office for one or 2 days, then off again for a couple of days over and over. Meals can go back to being more simple. In our house we generally don't eat meat or drink wine except on the Sabbath and on festivals, so that will reduce our food expenses. My Dear Child will finally go back to school (next week) and learning can really commence seriously for the year.

But I have to say I'll miss the increased spiritual focus of the past few weeks. Yes, now that we start reading Torah from the beginning again, I'll begin again studying the parsha (portion) of the week with DC. This year she's starting to read and I think that will be exciting. I'll get back to doing my daily learning, Chitas (a portion daily from the Tanya, the Book of Psalms and the weekly portion with commentary). I've tried to keep up but the parsha part of it has suffered the most. Perhaps not surprisingly, I know the opening chapters of Bereshit (Genesis) the best. I'm always on my best behavior, the most motivated, etc. as we start the cycle. And there are no holidays for a while to break my concentration.

The other thing is that, with all these holidays on Wednesdays, I haven't had the opportunity to do my It Won't Wait Wednesday projects over the past month or so. And I've been way too busy to get around to a lot of the things that I've been meaning to do. I've got to get back to that.

And the exercise. What can I say about it? We walk a lot during the High Holy Days. Three weeks out of four we have a 2 day holiday when we have to walk to and from services at least once a day, sometimes twice. Plus the Sabbath keeps rolling around where we do the same. If you live close to your synagogue it's not too big a deal. But we walk an hour and 20 minutes each way! The exercise has probably been good for me, although I don't think I've lost any weight (the walking is counteracted by all the holiday food). But, boy, am I tired!

What happens next? I get up bright and early tomorrow morning and go to work for the whole day. I have to deposit my BC Benefit cheque into the bank and update my passbook, then do a bit of grocery shopping. Welcome back to my (everyday) miscellaneous life.

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