Hearing: several tunes of prayers both familiar and unfamiliar
Smelling: farm-fresh milk in my tea
Tasting: homegrown apples (slightly astringent) with honey dripping down them, milky chocolate challah
Feeling: calm, content, and connected, light rain, awkwardly walking along with two large bags and shoes that could be better, being driven very quickly down a narrow and curvy road
Seeing: unfamiliar towns, a large house with a spacious white interior
Chag sameach! Today was New Year’s Day, Rosh Hashanah. Lucky was I that I had found the remainders of the now-closed synagogue who were conducting High Holiday services somewhat near Cork.
I was supposed to catch a bus that would take me to a bus stop where I would be picked up to go to that house. But I first went to the wrong stop, and even though Google Maps told me I could make it to the correct one on time, the bus there just didn’t come. So I resorted to a cab. And of course, I got out of the cab 1.5 kilometers early. I texted my ride, and told her I was on my way to the spot where I was supposed to get out. So I got another cab, and once I had gotten out, she texted me that they went to the spot where I got out early! I told her that I was now where I was supposed to be, and wouldn’t cause any more trouble by moving about.
The house was somewhat remote. Its interior wasn’t huge, but felt very grand and clean. Oh, and it was on a farm. There were chickens running about and everything. And a pet dog and cat that lived outdoors.
The service was supposed to start at 11, but in true Jewish and Irish fashion, started closer to noon. I wasn’t too bothered by it– it gave me time to schmooze and drink tea with milk that apparently came from the farm we were on!
When it did start, it was really lovely. Because we had several people from disparate congregations, various tunes of each prayer were sung. The Rabbi was very brisk, but wholehearted, in her leading of the service. Much of it was in English, and I found it very accessible. The food was delicious too, of course.
I caught a bus back with another congregant (and classmate) and by the time I was in my room, I was exhausted. And somehow still hungry.