#BlogElul 29: Return

#BlogElul 2013We’re a military family. We move around a lot. In the six years before our most recent PCS, we davened (prayed) at High Holy Day services with five different communities.

  • Corpus Christi, Texas (Reform, with some Conservative elements thanks to the then-recent congregational merger)
  • Norfolk, Virginia (Conservative, with a true renaissance man for a rabbi)
  • Northern Virginia (my in-laws’ vibrant Conservative shul)
  • Reno, Nevada (a Conservative shul who took us in when we were in town for Tailhook)
  • Annapolis, Maryland (The Uriah P. Levy Center and Jewish Chapel at the United States Naval Academy — chaplain-style services are the best!)

This evening, at Erev Rosh Hashanah services, we will add a sixth congregation to our list.

We have almost never spent Rosh Hashanah with the same community twice (our Yom Kippur list is just Corpus and Norfolk; we tend to stick to our local shul for that one). Even so, each Rosh Hashanah has felt to me like a homecoming of sorts. Wherever we find ourselves on this Yom Harat Olam, the Birthday of the World, we join our fellow Jews in turning toward our Source.

When the sun sets on 5773, we will welcome 5774 in a place we’ve never welcomed a new year before. We will begin anew with our visiting family and with friends we’ve made in our few months here and with people we have yet to meet. Even though this is our first year with this congregation, we are returning nonetheless.

L’shana tova, everyone — may your year be as good and sweet as the the feeling of coming home.


#BlogElul, the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, invites participants to chronicle the month leading up to the Jewish High Holy Days through blog posts, photos, and other social media expressions.

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