We had a very nice RH with Leezy and Elie, and of course Netanel, despite the fact that Leezy and I spent most of the chag cleaning up the pretend food toys. It was really nice to see them again, especially since we haven't seen each other since the flight. Leezy and Elie have a cute 2-floor apartment on Gad Street in Bet Shemesh. Their guest room is quite comfortable and they have great beds and blankets. Stop by for a visit! Just knock on their door with your overnight bag! Bring friends! Ha ha! The community they live in is very friendly, things we are not used to - "community" and "friendly." Davening on RH, however, took approximately 7 billion hours. On the first night we ate with the Kleins Jr., Kleins Sr. and Eisens at the Kleins Sr.'s house. There was a LOT of REALLY GOOD food. Ariella and Yaakov quickly became friends with the Eisen boys, and Ariella confided in me that, "Me and the 4 1/2 year old are really best friends." Only a 5 year old can have a best friend whose name she doesn't even know. We found out about a minyan the next day which started at 5:45, and the next morning Donny happened to wake up at 5:20, so he was off to the early minyan. He was home by 10:15. Elie, poor guy, went to the regular minyan. We're still waiting for him to come home. No, seriously, it's not that bad, but it was 6 hours long - 7:00 - 1:00. One of the reasons we made aliyah, besides chocolate milk in bags and shwarma (don't worry, not at the same time), is that davening is so much shorter in Israel. None of this wasting time business that American shuls specialize in! Apparently this particular shul didn't get the message. Anyway, on the first day Donny ran Rosh Hashanah camp for the kiddies for about an hour, and Leezy and I went to shul and caught 30 kolot. Whoo-hoo! Check that off the to-do list, baby. When Elie FINALLY returned home, we ate lunch at L&E's and chilled out for the afternoon. We went to the "kiddie shofar blowing" at 5:00 (the shul also doesn't care much for children, so they were cordially uninvited to attend shofar blowing during davening), and then to tashlich. In between I'm sure we cleaned up the living room a couple of times. After tashlich it was time to come back, whine (kiddies) and get ready to eat again! (us) Rosh Hashanah is basically 2 days of waiting a really long time to eat, stuffing your face because you're so hungry, then swearing you can't eat for days, until about 2 hours later when the process begins again. Since the children did not nap in the afternoon (sad), we were able to put them to sleep after the challah and eat by ourselves (happy)! We had a quiet dinner at L&E's and then went to sleep.
On Day 2 (thank God the last "Day 2" until next RH!), Donny basically didn't sleep all night, because he was trying to make sure he'd be up in time for the 5:45 minyan and not get caught at the, how shall we say, less desirable minyan. Elie found out about a 6:00 minyan in the neighborhood, so he went there, and both men were home by 10:00. I took Ariella at 10 to hear shofar blowing in the shul. We dressed her up in a wig and flowered housedress so no one would think God forbid I was bringing a child into shul. She actually sat nicely for 1/2 hour, so we heard shofar and I davened. It was probably now time for cleaning up the toys again. We hung out at home for a while, then headed out to the Eisens for lunch. It was nice to mess up somebody else's toys for a while. Also, there was an outside, so the kiddies ran around for a while. There was a LOT of REALLY GOOD food. Donny was entertaining everyone with his theories on aliyah and various other subjects, and I stuffed myself because, after all, it had been a really long time since we had eaten.
On the way back, Yaakov and Netanel fell asleep in their strollers, and everyone napped for a while. The men went to minchah, and a friend of mine and Leezy's, Jenny Katz, stopped over to schmooze for a while. What a concept! People, knocking on your door, wanting to come in and say hi! Here, they only knock on your door when they want 300 NIS to "receive the Shabbat elevator." Speaking of which, a lot of good that money did - as of tonight, motzei RH, the Shabbat elevator is still stuck on meenoos shalosh. The people who were collecting the money are probably out spending it on drink and rugelach. Anyway, the second RH ended, I bathed the kids (after 2 days of lollipops, Ariella's hair was starting to resemble one of those big rubber band balls), packed, and we headed home. Gotta be up early tomorrow for gan!