October 4, 2006

Shana Tova

After having been in Israel for one year, we still feel very privileged to be living in a place where the Jewish calendar is an integral part of life – a magical rhythm no matter how religiously affiliated one is.

Looking out my kitchen window when I do the dishes, I just have to glance across at my neighbour’s garden to know that Rosh Hashana is here; their tall pomegranate tree proudly displays its plump red fruit just in time for the chag.

And in the days leading up to Rosh Hashana, there is a festive spirit everywhere. Everyone wishes each other Shana Tova; at the grocery check out, in the bakery, and at the gas station. The custom here is to give gifts to friends and neighbors so every store displays their goods in beautiful baskets and boxes, prettily wrapped in cellophane and tied with bows.

The Na Nach Nachma Nachman Me'uman mobile is out on the street today, blaring its music to a rap melody. The driver wears a large white crochet kippa, a huge smile and practically dances in his seat. These cars are driven around by the breslev hassidim, whose joy is effusive.

And one cannot walk a block without seeing stacks of honey for sale. Some stores even have clerks who stand beside tables filled with huge rolls of wrapping paper, packaging gift after gift – the line ups are long but everyone waits their turn and is in a great mood.

The butchers across town are also busily preparing people’s orders and offering special recipes for the taking – prefaced with a Shana Tova. This greeting appears on the billboards and the mayor here sent everyone a special Shana Tova greeting in the mail.

It has been a very hard year here in Israel for all, especially this past summer. But as you can imagine from the brief description of life here on Ahuza, the main street in Raanana, everyone is optimistic and is preparing for a positive, sweet year. May we have a year of peace.

Shana Tova u’bracha!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are always welcome.