Wednesday, September 21, 2011

opening: Naomi and Asher

Yesterday we read the story that opens our epic. It's a story set in modern times that shows a family preparing for Rosh Hashanah, and the grandson's excitement at hearing the stories of his father's father's father's fathers. Above, J draws the family, all dressed up, joining other people on their way to Temple. Below, Zoo Boy shows a scene from the family's kitchen, as Mother and Naomi prepare the Rosh Hashanah foods and Asher works on his homework.

Above, J's story summary, below is Zoo Boy's.

The boys are both exited to hear grandfather's stories in the coming weeks.

J asked today if this work means we're going to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. When I said that yes, we will observe some of the traditions next Friday on Rosh Hashanah, he was stunned. "But why?" he wondered, "We're not Jewish!" I nodded and told him that he's right, and we're not going to celebrate in quite the same way -- we won't go to Temple and we won't say all of the sacred prayers, because those are not our family's beliefs. But we're going to listen to a few of the readings and eat some of the same foods that Jewish families all over the world will be doing, and have been doing for many, many years. He went off to think about that a bit. Zoo Boy, on the other hand, thinks the entire things sounds really cool --I think he'd love to go to Temple and really participate in a real Rosh Hashanah ceremony.

I will need to keep a feel of the "temperature" of this type of thing with my kids, especially as Hanuka coincides this year with Yule (an important part of our family's spiritual celebrations), the first night of Hanuka falling on the Long Night. I will need to decide if it will mean more to the boys to incorporate the Hanuka story and the lighting of the menorah into our own family celebrations, or to keep it a separate observation a week prior to the actual dates. I am keeping flexibility in our schedule so that I can do what feels right when we get to that point.

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