Saturday, August 2, 2008

Tech-free Shabbat and a Discussion Salon

My best friend from college, Ru, visited this week. She came up Thursday afternoon, and left after shul today. It was great to see her. Thursday we did some errands with Sam and Sofia until time to pick up Micah (it was pouring by the time his bus arrived), and watched a movie after the kids went to sleep. Friday we shopped a bit and went to the pool for a while.

An Old-fashioned "Salon"

Last night was terrific. In addition to Ru, my girlfriend R also came over, in addition to another couple and their son. The couple both went to Brandeis, as did Ru and I, and when you add in David and R, we had hours of terrific conversation (and about 4 bottles of wine!). Their son is one of Micah's good friends, and Sofia couldn't even be bothered to eat dinner because she was so busy playing. Sam was in a bit of a mood, but he took a shower and went to sleep early.

Shabbat at Shul

I read Haftorah and the maftir Torah reading this morning, so we all went to shul. I think I did a good job; I'm always fairly critical. The one thing I did learn (because two people came over to teach me) is that when it's spelled "yerushal'm" (in Hebrew, of course), that's just the old style of spelling "yerushalayim". Cool.

The Rabbi Emeritus (retired) at our shul is none other than Rabbi H. Kushner, who wrote all sorts of famous books such as "When Bad Things Happen to Good People." (Our regular Rabbi and Cantor are both away for the summer, Rabbi at camp and Cantor in Israel, so Rabbi K and other lay-leaders take over).

The Torah portion I was reading talked about bringing an offering on behalf of G-d. Rabbi K told us that the tradition holds that this is for G-d to apologize for the fact that there are bad things in the world. Ok, I can somewhat accept that idea...but then he went on to list the "bad" things, and started right off with something about 'for every child born with a mental disability'. As he was walking to his seat, I told him "I'll have to argue that one with you later." He smiled, and said "You wouldn't be the first!"

Nothin' like picking a fight with a world-famous rabbi right before you have to read Torah and Haftorah! Yowza! But basically, I cannot consider Sofia's "mental disability" as "bad", I MUST continue to consider it just as "different".

The cute thing was that, right near the end of the service, Sofia wandered up to the podium. She wasn't making any fuss, just looking around and watching the proceedings. She was reading one of the weekly "what's going on" pamphlets, and Rabbi K took it from her and handed her one of the baby-naming pamphlets (which is pink and has teddy bears on it). She got such a kick out of that!

There was a nice lunch after services, in honor of a baby naming and MM's birthday.

I just love non-tech Shabbat

In the past few months, we made the decision to try to do an electronics-free Shabbat afternoon. It doesn't always work, but today it did. After shul, Sofia fell asleep in the car, and David and I both fell asleep shortly after we arrived home. The boys made a scavenger hunt for me (they draw a series of maps, with pictures as my prize at the end), and woke me up for the search. We played games, hung out, cleaned the storage area in the bathroom, and relaxed.

Of course, David tried to sleep longer, but the boys woke him up, which got him angry, so he's in a bit of a mood. But after dinner, I read stories to the kids while they all played and David quizzed Sofia about her words.

Miss Sofia, having taken a very long nap, is now wide awake and playing ball with David (who is also watching both "Tomorrow Never Comes" and "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle"). Giggles abound (but she just managed to toss the ball into David's eye..).

We are going to visit Camp Ramah New England tomorrow, to see if it would be good for a sleep-away camp for Sam next summer. Wednesday I'll take him to see Camp Yavneh also.

Micah decided he does not want to spend time at my parents' house this week. Sigh. Gotta make some play dates!


Nicole said...

What a great idea! I actually think the Princesses haircut is quite cute!

I also had to laugh below to think that her summer school teacher thought she had taught her some new words. :)

HUGS,( I didn't know you were blogging! or I didn't remember, lol :) )