Monday, November 15, 2004

Rosh Chodesh Kislev

I used to really look forward to Kislev. Partly because Kislev means Chanukah, and who doesn't like Chanukah? But also because Kislev is the backdrop for one of my favorite stories growing up:

About a month after my grandparents had been introduced to each other, my grandfather, a"h, went to visit my grandmother, a"h, in her home town. They went for a walk one evening, and my grandfather asked, as they were walking back, "Fraulein Strauss, what Jewish month is it?" My grandmother answered, "Kislev." To that, my grandfather responded, "Then here is 'kiss' and here is 'lev'...will you marry me?"

It seemed somehow fitting that my grandmother, after being a widow for 29 years, rejoined my grandfather during Kislev 5763.

I spent my Rosh Chodesh standing at their graves, wondering what the hell I've done with the past two years of my life. Isn't Rosh Chodesh supposed to be a happy day?

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