Well, this year its more like a rooster's crow thanks to our neighbor's new pet! No hard feelings, though. Its fun for Aviel to hear his cookoo ree coo. This is a Hebrew speaking rooster. That's what he says over here.
We just finished up the first of the fall High Holy Days, Rosh HaShana, or The Feast of Trumpets! Rosh HaShana is the Jewish New Year, and its celebrated over two days. Last year, I gave some of the biblical background for this feast. You can read about that here. As with all of the appointed times of the Lord, Rosh HaShana is a Shabbat, or two Shabbats, actually. This year those two Shabbats fell on a Thursday and Friday, and on top of that, we had our normal Saturday Shabbat. That's three Shabbats in a row! In Israel, that means for three days, all public transportation stopped, and all businesses were closed.
We take our rest seriously over here.
This year, we hosted Safta (grandma), and our lovely friends, the Ramirezes, for dinner in our home. We feasted on a special round Challah bread and customary apples and honey (symbolizing a sweet new year), before proceeding to the main course of roast chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, and my Aunt June's Dump Cake for dessert. It was a sweet evening of fellowship! The wonderful religious* family that lives next door has a tradition of singing on Shabbat (these are different neighbors than the ones with the rooster). I fell asleep that night listening to their precious voices lifting up praises. May they one day know their Messiah.
We spent the next three days resting, taking family walks around the neighborhood, spending time with friends, doing some creative writing, and trying out a few easy recipes from this blog. We like Shabbats to be days of worship and creativity, while we abstain from laborious household chores and daily work.
The atmosphere of Jerusalem has been one of joyful celebration. The three of us had a great three days of rest and feel ready to start a New Year!
Next Holy Day: Yom Kippur.
*In Israel, when we say "religious" it is in reference to orthodox Judaism. Our neighbors happen to be "Modern Orthodox."
"Shana Tova!" Its Rosh HaShana! (2009)
Shabbat Letter (a testimony of keeping Shabbat)