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Thought for the Day: Welcoming HaShem; Avinu and Malkeinu

It's funny what triggers memories.  I was riding home the other through Lincoln Square.  That area reminds me of the main street in the little town where my grandparents lived, and the weather was like the summer days when I would visit them.  I had a very close relationship with my grandfather.  He was a professor of electrical engineering at a state college.  Grandpa was brilliant, an excellent teacher, and loved by everyone.  My role model in almost every way.  He worked to create a program that allowed me to talk college classes while still in high school.  I also lived with them for my first year "away from home" when I started college.  A lot of who I am and what I have accomplished in life is directly attributable to the efforts my grandfather made on my behalf.

What I remember most vividly, however, is just wantintg to spend as much time as possible with Grandpa.  I would go with him the bank, to pay utility bills (when it cost less to drive than the cost of a stamp), grocery shopping, etc.  I don't remember playing games, nor the content of many conversations.  I just remember being with him and feeling whole.  There was no other place I wanted to be nor anything else I wanted to be doing.

That's Rosh HaShana.  No mention of sin, or what we need to do to improve.  No mention of the what we expected this year and what our disappointments were.  Just being with HaShem.  At night we have the simanim.  The traditional ones: apples with honey, dates, pomegranates, and so forth.  The new "tranditional" ones: carrots ("mehren" in yiddush; which sounds like "more"), raisins with celery (sounds like "raise in salary"); be creative.  It's just good fun at a formal dinner with the royal family; and and HaKadosh Baruch Hu.  Then during the day we have shofar during a musaf that is extended to give us more time with our King and Father.  Majesty and grandeur, pomp and circumstance.

There will be time to get down to business during the last eight days of the Aseres Y'mei T'shuva, but first it's just time to spend time together; to feel whole and know there is no other place we'd want to be and nothing else we'd rather be doing.

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