Tuesday, October 11, 2005

L'shana tovah and an update

Greetings all,
First I want to wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year! I know it has been sometime since I have blogged here, I have missed you all. Indeed, "Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans." The holidays, although later this year than last, came upon me so quickly. The month of Elul (September) seemed to fly by me. I think with Ya'akov leaving and school starting up here again it took me a bit to find my feet again. But little by little we are getting back into the swing of things, even with the hectic schedule of the Chaggim (holidays) upon us.
I know so many of you have been eagerly waiting for an update on my son Ya'akov and I do apologize for the delay. First, I want to thank all who have kept him and my family in their prayers, they are much appreciated. He is doing so well, Baruch HaShem! His studies are going well and he enjoys them so much. It is amazing to me how much he is learning and how he gives it over to me. He even has a few "candy classes" as he calls them, things like "Jewish Philosophy in Contemporary Issues," that he really enjoys. I had to laugh when he called them "candy classes," they sound pretty intense to me, but then again, since he also studying Chumash, Rashi, gemara etc. I am sure that the English classes are rather relaxing for him.
He has gone on several trips since he has been there. Of course as I said in an earlier post they go to the Kotel every week. They have also been to the Dead Sea and he floated in it. He said you actually cannot sink in it, you just kind of bob around! He has also been to the Kineret, Tiberius and the Holocaust Museum. There he heard a survivor speak. Of course one can only imagine the intensity of that experience. We have several survivors here in the neighborhood and when I saw their tattoos it sent shivers down my spine, I was in the presence of miracles. Motzei Yom Kippur, he is travelling to the holy city of Tzfat (G-d willing)! He will be there for shabbat and I am so excited for him!
We speak several times a week, thank G-d for a good friend providing us with a very inexpensive calling card to Israel. He is eager to receive our letters too. A young lady in the neighborhood told us it is a very big deal to receive mail in school so I am really trying to be diligent about sending him letters.
Racheli is busy finishing up her final credits for high school and getting her things in order so she can also go to Israel for school. She is hoping to leave for the spring semester. She was just hired as a mother's helper for several hours a day. It is just two doors down from where I nanny so that is kind of neat! She will be caring for two little fellas and helping Mama make supper, straighten up, etc. She is excited as that money will all go for her trip to Israel. I am excited for her as she will have opportunity to see how another household is run.
Tzivya is bearing up with school well but we will be dropping out after the Chaggim. I simply do not like the program for our family (I am sure other families are enjoying success so this is no reflection on the actual K12 High School program). My daughter, although trying very hard to stay and do her work b'simcha (with joy), is very unhappy and as I have said before we did not homeschool to be unhappy. So I am presently looking into the PAHomeschoolers High School diploma program and the Susquehanna High School Diploma Program and decide between the two. I still have curriculum so I do not think there will be much if any of a financial issue. Besides, with all the work she is doing in school I am not able to squeeze any lifeskills, homemaking and Torah studies in there and that is not acceptable.
The holidays started off very nicely. We ate home both nights and were invited out for both lunches. With the services being what they are we did not eat until almost 3PM but it suited well. The first day just flew by! By the time we were done with the davening (praying) it was 2:30, then we went to lunch at a friend's home. After that was finished it was almost 4:30. We went home for a short bit and left for shul (synagogue) to be there to daven mincha (afternoon prayers) and then to go to tashlich. We go to a lovely park about a mile from our home that has a nice stream in it. In spite of the cloudy day and the stream being very low it was an uplifting experience. I just love seeing everyone out and about. Almost everyone goes there for tashlich from all the different synagogues. When we lived in Lancaster it was a less dramatic experience as we used to just walk across the pasture to the cow creek. °Ü° Convenient yes, but not communal.
When this was all said and done is was almost time for ma'ariv (evening prayers) and time to eat again! Our meal was simple the second night since we had ample left overs and no one was really hungry after our delicious lunch out.
The second day was a bit longer but not much. The services ended a bit sooner as did lunch. I visited with another friend later in the day as did my girls. My beloved went home and rested a bit before he walked over to retrieve me and we in turn went to retrieve my youngest. We were home for a while and then another friend come over until Rosh Hashanah ended. Although a bit longer it was a very beautiful day.
Well, I suppose this post is long enough. I am going to try to post more often and not as long. This will be a real trick for me °Ü°
G'mar chatima tovah!

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