Monday, September 21, 2009

Rosh Hashana in Tokyo

Shana Tova everyone.

I just spent a wonderful Rosh Hashana here in Tokyo. The Tokyo community has been nothing but warm, friendly, and welcoming to me throughout the past month here. It was truly reminiscent of the enveloping, never ending chag of davening, eating, and shmoozing in a large commuunity that I've experience both in college and in New York.

It really is amazing that I can travel half way around the world, and find basically a conservative shul that is very similar to the one I grew up in (frummer in some ways - no microphone, duchaning, less frum in others - most heavily attended service was Friday night, and enormous drop off between first and second day despite it being a Sunday)

The food was again out of this world, with 120 people at Friday night dinner (I won't list all of the items, but everything was great from the onion soup that came with two 18 inch thin garlic bread sticks to the Waldorf salad to the nutty cinnamon bobca).

By the way, it is amazing to me the way that on chag and Shabbat, Jews basically eat a sumo diet - a huge meal, follwed by sleep, followed by fasting (whether during davening until a late lunch or throughout the day), followed by another huge meal, followed by more sleep. We're not so good at grazing throughout the day. As Tzom Gedaliah draws to a close here in Japan, I've been trying to think about what a sumo wrestler would do (eat a lot quickly and then go to sleep), so I can do the opposite.

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