Holidays have been tricky for me since making the big move to the Big Apple. I have family here — I think most Jews do — but nothing compares to my Detroit contingent that gathers for weekly Shabbos dinners, the high holidays, Thanksgiving, New Years, and Pesach.
While I’ve grown accustomed to breaking the Yom Kippur fast with my New York cousins — very much worth a full day’s fast if I can snag even one of cousin Marion’s blintzes — especially as they often reminisce in my grandmother’s memory, nothing replaces digging into a deli tray and other dairy delights with my full mishpocha back home in the mitten that is Michigan.
My original plans for the holiday weekend, or rather, the weekend leading up to erev Rosh Hashanah changed last-minute. I was supposed to venture out to Amagansett for what was to be a lovely weekend of apple picking and time spent with my cousins Aaryn and Esther. Thanks to an unruly Hamptons Jitney operator, those plans unraveled.
Suddenly, I felt like a high holiday orphan. Many of my New York friends are not Jewish, and those that are have traveled back home for the holiday. Salt was rubbed into the wound after a few Skype calls with my siblings and parents, and I began to plan for an evening alone on 29 Elul in my teeny, tiny apartment in Queens, while they all made plans to enjoy the holiday back in Michigan.
My luck changed when a former colleague and good friend invited me to join his family for dinner. I jumped at the opportunity, and am excited for the experience. Nothing can replace holidays at Auntie Phyllis’, but hopefully this will be a close second. And while tomorrow I should be spending my day in services, I’m without tickets for Monday, and am plagued with my father’s work ethic, so I’ll be at work and not shul.
That said, to my readers, family, friends, and beyond – I wish you a very happy, healthy, and sweet new year. לשנה טובה ומתוקה לכולם!