by Sabrina Spector, Katz JCC Cultural Director
The Jewish holidays always seem to sneak up on us. I know they are coming, it’s marked on my beautiful calendar compliments of the local funeral home and yet, I’m never quite ready.
When I was a kid, it was so easy to get in the mood for the holidays since we learned about the traditions and laws at Hebrew School. If only things remained as simple as learning about the different sounds of the shofar and honey fundraisers. As an adult, I’m busy with getting kids back into the swing of school, back to school nights, the demands of work, stressed about the days that will be missed and the cost of the brisket. Long gone are the days when I actually got to emotionally and mentally prepare for the high holiday season. More often then not, I hear my friends stressing over the holidays rather than enjoying them.
I find comfort in reminding myself that Rosh Hashanah is a time to clean things up in your life so that you can start the new year with a fresh slate. As crazy as life is, this is my time to, once again, try to find balance, fix strained relationships and create new goals spiritually/physically/emotionally. I try to take a step back to remember that the holidays are my chance to reconnect. I’m lucky to find my inspiration from my family and work.
Like every working mother, balancing the many needs of the kids can be overwhelming. But now is when my kids shine and turn the tables, teaching me how to step back and enjoy the holidays. My eldest daughter has become a pro at making challah and I love knowing that she has been able to take on that family tradition. She whips up a batch in moments and before you know it, the house already smells delicious and I begin to emotionally prepare for another year watching my daughter grow into a young lady. Just this past Sunday at the JCC, a group of families came together to create holiday recipes. It was something special to see families take time from their busy schedules to bond over holiday rituals.
My littlest one comes home singing fun songs she learns in school and tooting like a shofar while my boys try to out-do one another while actually trying to blow the shofar before passing out. Just when I think I can’t do one more thing, their laughter and joy around the holiday centers me and brings me back to what is truly important. When the kids at our Early Childhood Center march through the building wishing everyone a Happy New Year, we can’t help but let the holiday spirit into your soul.
We might be busy bees this season but this time of year begs for us to slow down, do a little self-introspection and enjoy all the joyous and wonderful moments that are rolled into this season.
Make sure to check out our holiday hours and L’Shana Tova (Happy New Year) to all!