Monday, September 21, 2020

Rosh Hashanah Dinner

We celebrated Rosh Hashanah virtually this past weekend. As usual, it was a little weird, which, I guess, grammatically, makes it normal?

Services were virtual. The Rabbi prerecorded the service, including congregant parts, and at the appropriate times on Friday night and Saturday morning, we clicked the link and watched the service.


While the services were different because of the method, there were definite advantages—my sofa is way more comfortable than the synagogue seats, as were the clothes I was able to wear since no one could see me. But I missed the community, the mix of voices around me joined in prayer, and the gravity of the holiday that can only truly be conveyed in the synagogue. However, everyone involved did an amazing job creating these services, and I’m looking forward to the Yom Kippur ones.


Traditionally, for Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate with my parents for a festive dinner the night of the first day of the holiday. It’s something I always look forward to, but this year, I was conflicted. I wanted to spend the holiday with them, but I didn’t want to do anything to possibly infect them. During the summer, we’ve spent time together inside, but the temperatures in New Jersey have dropped, and dinner out in the cold is not something any of us would enjoy.


So, we came up with a plan.


Let me tell you, preparing for a festive holiday meal takes planning and coordination. Preparing for a festive holiday meal during a pandemic ups the stakes significantly.


Anytime I have people coming over, I clean my house. Usually, I stick to the areas people will see. And I firmly believe that if you enter my house and complain about its cleanliness, you become my personal maid and are responsible for raising it to your standards. 


However, in a pandemic, cleaning takes on a whole new meaning. I don’t think there was a corner or surface that I didn’t scour. I forbid my husband from using the downstairs bathroom, even going so far as to block the door with his desk chair. He suggested I just put a Post-It note on the door, but I wasn’t taking any chances.


There were four of us for dinner, but in order to maintain the six feet of social distance, we added both a bridge table and a table leaf to my dining room table, set up the chairs so that my parents faced each other on one end, and my husband and I faced each other on the opposite end. We gave ourselves the bridge table—I’m never outgrowing the kids’ table, apparently. Instead of setting the table, we put everything out buffet style on the counter.


Usually, when people enter my house, they are free to roam and make themselves comfortable. My mom always helps me in the kitchen. This time, they were instructed to keep their masks on, to sit on a specific sofa, and not to move under any circumstances. 


We all wore masks the entire time, unless we were eating. We did not spend extra time chitchatting or hanging out. We were careful not to get our germs on their food. And no matter how often my mom asked, I did not let her help with setting, clearing, or cleaning up.


I’ve never been more stressed over a meal in my life. But the hug (done masked and while holding my breath) at the end was worth it.


Don't forget, I have a book releasing next week! Eight days and counting until Whispers in Washington releases. Info here.

No comments:

Post a Comment