Posted by: gruvenreuven | September 22, 2009

Tishrei Tour – 5770

kippahFor these past 8 years, preparing for the Jewish High Holidays was a lot like a Grateful Dead fall tour for me. During the 18 years we used to follow the Grateful Dead, we were always trying to scrounge tickets and a place to crash after the show for a series of shows we would travel to. Now, after becoming frum & living in the fringes of Galus, the same held true for the Jewish High Holidays. We were always looking for hospitality space with the same intensity. The anxiety of finding a place for each day of the holiday was a lot like planning our itinerary for a Landover-Albany-Nassau run. “Ok, we got space to stay Rosh Hashanah, and meals for the first day, looking for our second day meal and crash space for Yom Kippur. OK, who‘s got my Sukkah miracle…”

The years between us becoming fully-frum and finally moving to a frum neighborhood were filled with travel & (very much appreciated) gracious hosts. For years we would travel away for Rosh Hashanah finding a Chabad house near a hotel and the like. Sometimes we were lucky enough to stay with friends locally. Even though we loved our time at Chabad houses like the Chabad of Ocean City Maryland, (A Sephardic Shul a mile from the Beach), there is something to be said about just staying home.

Last year, we realized our dreams of moving to Lower Merion! Buying a house before the market crash, and then selling one during these turbulent financial times, did make for a very stressful year. (To put it very mildly)

I think the reward for all the stress this past year came this Rosh Hashanah. How amazing was it to finally be able to Daven in our own shul while proudly walking to and from our own home. How wonderful it was to be able to eat our meals at home as opposed to feeling guilty about always relying on hospitality. How wonderful was it to spend lunch with Friends and to greet others going to and from shul with a “L’Shana Tova, Gut Yontif”.

In looking back on this past Rosh Hashanah, I wonder why it took us so long! (Actually I know the An$wer.) Making the commitment to move after living in a neighborhood for almost 20 years is a big step, but one well worth taking.

This morning I had an experience that really drove this point home. While leaving our local Starbucks with my Black Venti Coffee in hand, I bumped into a friend that goes to another Shul in the neighborhood. Small “How was your yonif” talk ensued. During my 20 years in the Fringes of Galus, I don’t think I ever got to know my neighbors well enough to have such a conversation. Living in a frum neighborhood, especially one with diverse number of Orthodox shuls (we have 7 within the Eruv); you really come to understand the concept of “It takes a village to raise a Yid”.

Together with my family, I would like to wish you and yours a k’sivah v’chasimah tovah



  1. You, sir, sound so happy. What a way to start 5770. I’m so glad you’ve found your home 🙂

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