02 October 2007

Death by holiday

Man, these holidays are killing me! We were never meant to have two-day holidays, followed immediately by Shabbat.

Quick explanation: almost every Jewish holiday, outside of Israel, is two days. In Israel, nearly every holiday is just one day. This has to do with the Jewish calendar being a lunar calendar, and how the first day of the month is decided upon, and the worry that outside of Israel, we could never really be sure when the month started, therefore, we can never really be sure which day the holiday falls on, so better to be safe than G-d forbid celebrate the holiday late.

Among other reasons.

As a result, every couple of years, we wind up with Rosh Hashana (which is a two-day holiday no matter where you are) falling on a Thursday and Friday. Which means Sukkot* is a Thursday and Friday. Which means Shmenei Atzeret* and Simchat Torah* are Thursday and Friday.

Each of these days is followed by Shabbat. Holidays are observed much like Shabbat, except we can cook - under certain restrictions. So, no flicking switches, no driving, no shopping, no phone, no computer, no news, no keeping up with blogs, never mind blogging. Just peace and quiet for 3 days.

Peace and quiet and walking back and forth to services twice a day every day, cooking 6 festive meals, enough challah for these meals, and 6 desserts. But mind you, those desserts have to be parve (neither meat nor dairy) or you have to make sure the dessert matches the meal (dairy meal, dairy dessert).

And you have to do that for 3 weeks out of 4. In a row. Which also means cramming 5 days of work into 2 1/2 for 3 weeks out of 4. Thank G-d Yom Kippur is in the middle - a fast day keeps you from going insane. ;)

I'm not complaining, mind you. I love this time of year. It's just these 3-day deals that knock me out. Oh, and the fact that no one has invited us to a single meal, and no one wants to come to us, because we're a little out of the way and oh, y'know, "the kids want to be with other kids. And it's their naptime, so we'd rather just host."

No matter how much you love 'em, holidays really suck when you don't have kids.

* Sorry, normally I would put in links, but I'm trying to plan this week's meals. My apologies for all the odd phrases with no explanation, but Google 'em if you're curious ;)



At 2/10/07 8:57 p.m., Blogger DrSavta said...

Reason enough to make aliya...

Chag sameach from Modi'in!

At 2/10/07 9:28 p.m., Blogger Lut C. said...

I'm guessing eating out on any of those holidays is simply unthinkable. :-)

At 2/10/07 11:49 p.m., Blogger kirby said...

Yet another good reason to make aliyah to Modiin. You may think we came for the kedusha and free IVF, but really it was the parve chocolate and the one-day Yomim Tovim.

And to answer Lut, no it's not unthinkable. But the likelihood of finding a restaurant that is a) kosher, b) serving meals over the holiday and c) also within walking distance makes things a bit tough.

At 3/10/07 2:50 a.m., Blogger Bea said...

Sounds like a fun, if exhausting, situation!

But can I just get a little annoyed at the parents for a moment - surely there's a degree to which some of these kids should be made to just lump it. I remember we were taken places without any other kids when we were little, when the occasion demanded it. A lot of people seem to think that having kids is an ok excuse for being selfish. (Maybe this applies more to the people I know than the people you know...)


At 3/10/07 10:14 p.m., Blogger projgen said...

After this month, if Hubby needed a push to make aliyah, the one-day holidays would have done it! ;)

Oh, and in addition to the items kirby listed, being able to pay the restaurant after the holiday (when we can't handle money) is also a big one!

When I was a kid, we went to lots of "grownup" dinners. It's where I learned manners, and how to behave as a guest. My peers seem to be terrified if little Shmuel might make a peep, or have to fall asleep in the car seat. Not to belittle the trauma of the morning after, baby-style - having witnessed many a full-on "I didn't sleep normally last night" tantrum, I can appreciate not wanting to deal with that. But still...

At 12/10/07 4:51 p.m., Blogger miriamp said...

Then we get to the "Holiday Season" for the goyim, and they stress over Thanksgiving, (at least here in the States) and I just laugh. Thanksgiving is EASY! You can turn on and off the stove and oven! You can run out to the store if you need something! And it's JUST ONE MEAL!!

Hope you survived. I would have come to you. I'd drag my kids all over creation just to get out of the house. Oh, except not for night meals, because they'll fall asleep and I am so not carrying all the kids home. Some of them are way too big for that, and, well, I don't have that many hands.


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