Oof. This part of the year is *full* of Jewish festivals. As full, to steal a Douglas Adams metaphor as a pomegranate is of pips, which is an apposite image because pomegranates are one of the symbols of the season (I think it has to do with fertility). So I am quite busy but in a good way – socializing, a bit of praying/meditating/thinking-about-stuff, making foods… Making the most of the season before winter comes to get us.
For Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year which was 19th and 20th September, I attended the Grassroots Jews services. This is a wonderful new venture – services focused on spirituality and community rather than the strict letter of anything. It neatly avoids the whole problem I talked about when I went to the Liberal Synagogue – that liberals can be quite as dogmatic in their beliefs as the Orthodox. My best example of this: in the email that went around giving details of the arrangements for the services, they had *both* of the following:
a) details for people who wanted to bring prayerbooks and food to the venue before the Sabbath started (because Orthdox people don’t carry on the Sabbath)
b) details about parking on the day (Orthodox people don’t drive on Sabbath, but non-Orthodox do).
Neither set of arrangements was presented with a slight snigger (how silly these people are) or a note of disapproval (of course the *best* people won’t do this…) as it might have been elsewhere. I was very impressed.