Thanks to everyone who left heartfelt birthday wishes for Momz on the last post! She really appreciates it. And for those of you who didn't - it's not too late! Post a birthday wish now! Or, you can just live with the guilt. Your choice.
On Tuesday night, we went to the shul for their "tekes" between Yom HaZikaron and Yom Ha'Matzmaut. Apparently, an email had been sent out earlier that the children were going to be performing a song/dance/flag routine, and just as apparently, we missed it. Right before the tekes started, I saw all the kids sitting in front and sent Ariella to go sit with them, figuring the kids were getting a good spot for the show. I didn't realize they WERE the show, and when they got up and started doing complicated (well, for 6 year olds) moves with their hands and feet and turning around and waving things, Ariella hastened back to sit with us. (I, of course, felt racked with guilt that my daughter had been left out; Ariella was perfectly contented to sit on Donny's lap and watch. What's that about projecting feelings from your own childhood....?)
So the tekes, even Ariella-less was very nice. Then they did a whole candle lighting ceremony, and sang HaTikvah and Ani Ma'amin (for some reason this has made it into the canon.) Afterwards, there was ma'ariv and then everyone was going to the big citywide celebration at a nearby park. But, as Ariella pointed out, if we want to go to the park, we were going to have to do the davening first. As it was already late, we went home, put the kids in bed, and then watched the fireworks from our mirpeset.
Wanting to get to the bottom of this email situation, we looked in Donny's account (where the shul emails are sent) to find the one that had invited the kids to be part of the tekes. When we did find it, it was unclear that having read it before would have enlightened us at all. It was a short and cryptic note involving the word "practice," but no indication who was to be practicing, or for what. Anyway, I decided for the sake of my pride and honor - ahem, I mean Ariella's pride and honor - that I should be on the email list so as to avoid future mishaps. I went to the website, http://www.mykehila.com/, and attempted to register. The website is for shuls all over the world, and you find yours and sign up for updates. However, the hour being late, the website being Hebrew, and me being impatient, I didn't read the page carefully and ended up starting a new synagogue. Membership is 50,000 shekel. Or dollars, whichever you prefer. Seats for the High Holidays are included in the dues for the first ten members! So sign up today! At the moment, we lack a building, a rabbi, and a Torah, but shuls have gotten by with less. Contact me for more details about donation opportunities. (For 10,000 shekels/dollars, Ariella will draw a picture with your name on it and hang it on our Wall of Honor In Our Dining Room.)
On Yom HaMatzmaut, we had a very busy day. In the morning, we went with some friends to Latrun to see the tanks. It was a lot of fun, but unfortunately every other Israeli who was not scarfing down early morning BBQ (and here I refer to my brother-in-law, Elie), had the same brilliant idea. So it was quite crowded. (Day off + free activity = thousands of Israelis piling in). We hung out for a while, then we all headed back to Modi'in for a BBQ. This was our Lunch BBQ. It was at our friends' house, with a few other families, and the kids had a great time. Yaakov found Thomas trains and Ariella was attempting to teach everyone Monopoly.
We returned home for a brief rest, and then went to Beit Shemesh to have Dinner BBQ with the Kleins+. (That would be Leezy and Elie, Elie's parents, who were hosting, and Sara and David, aka the parents of the Four Boys.) Yaakov and Maor (Boy #4) became quite chummy, banging airplanes and cars around the house. Maor now refers to Yaakov as "Friend." Yaakov did not want to leave, what with airplanes and Friend, but Ariella was turning into a one ginormous mosquito bite. Plus everyone had to be up for gan the next day. So we said our goodbyes and headed back to Modi'in. We even saw some last-minute fireworks to complete the day.
Today, in very exciting news, I am officially open for business. I have registered as an "osek patur" in order to get paid for my writing/editing jobs. I feel very legal. Nafi (closely related to Crazy Uncle Nafi), was extraordinarily helpful in getting the proper forms, going over them with me as I filled them out, and today we went together to Ramla (NOT to be confused with Ramalla - that would have resulted in a very different blog post) to go the various misradim and take care of business. All was going swimmingly. First, we went to the Certificate Guy. I call him that because he issues a Certificate saying that I am an osek patur (which basically means I make little enough to not have to charge/pay VAT.) Since the forms were already filled out, no prob. He entered in the info, printed out my certificate...and I noticed it had Donny's name on it. We showed it to him, but he said that was correct. Based on the teudat zehut number on the form. Yes, folks, I put in Donny's TZ number instead of my own. (Nafi tried to make light of it. "I'm sure this has happened before, right?" he said to Certificate Guy, who was really a very nice man. "Nope," he replied. "Never happened. "I've never seen that before in my LIFE," came a voice from the cubicle next door. "Well," Nafi said brightly, "Now you can say you've seen it all!")
In addition to having to spend another ten minutes filling out a new form and waiting for Certificate Guy to re-enter all the info, I now have to live with this mistake for the rest of my life. Nafi will never, ever, let me live this down. He is probably preparing jokes and comments right now, as we speak, to have at the ready the next time we see him. Oh well. After all he did to help me, it's the least I could do.