--Morning Rituals: I am not sure that people who read this blog appreciate how much Judaism completely rules my life when I am in a "Jewish phase"...not that I would have it any other way. Each morning, as I hop out of bed, I grab my "pajamas kippah" and put it on, singing "Modah Ani" ( a hymn about God returning souls to bodies in the morning; there's a legend that God takes them overnight) as I rush to turn the light on and ritually wash hands. For hand washing, I use the set pictured below.
Both cup and towel were from the Emanuel Judaica site. The towel I tacked on a Hannukah gift years ago, I think the year I got my menorah; my parents usually let me tack on something little to something big that they are paying for. The embroidery on the towel is of two grape clusters, with the last words of the hand washing blessing in between.
--Graduation Gift Update: Finally, finally, finally my parents are sending me the money for my graduation gift! It's going to be a bit different from what I last described here. Instead of the pink candle sticks, I have chosen a one-piece candelabrum. It sort of swoops like a roller coaster (it's also very hard to describe in words), and the color matches the runner I always put underneath my Sabbath and holiday candles.
Along with the candelabrum, I am getting my 37th kippah! (I said I had 37 in my last entry, but I was wrong; I currently have 36.) This one is going to be every bit as special as my high school graduation gift kippah, and then those two will be the most special in the whole collection. Like that one, the one I am anticipating getting is hat-size and hand embroidered; The color scheme of this one will be blue and purple.
The kippah/hat I am getting as part of my college graduation gift will also be my first Jerusalem scene. From the time I first started wearing a kippah full time (a little before high school) till about a year and a half ago (so figure about eight years), I was adamantly opposed to "putting Jerusalem on my head." Then I fell in love with the kippah I just described, and decided to make "just one exception." Well, you all know how that goes...half the kippot I picked out for my Hannukah gift are Jerusalem scenes!
--Facing Facts: In my last letter to God, I faced the fact that my "Jacob" is slowly dying, and I explored what that might mean for me. (It's selfish to think of myself that way, but it will mean something for me.) Every year, on Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) services, at the U'N'taneh Tokef prayer, I think about my "Jacob." U'N'taneh Tokef is really about consequences of sin, and it talks in detail about various kinds of death. As strongly suggested, I do think about my own sins/behavior during this point in the service, but I also think about my "Jacob." Most unfortunately, his life hangs in the balance in a much more tangible way than mine...he did nothing to deserve that.
Now, an Aging-Out child, a girl this time. Here is "PAIGE," aging out within the nest EIGHTEEN MONTHS, diagnosed with DOWN SYNDROME, SEVERE MENTAL DELAY, and HYDROCEPHALUS.