First and foremost: rose42dance is a delightful young lady, someone I wish we could see on a regular basis. Those of you who get the change to interact with her are lucky. We truly enjoyed meeting her (in fact, everyone we’ve met this trip has been wonderful).
After meeting rose42dance, we drove over to the Rabbi’s house in Roseville. Sheryl and Ari had some additional guests: his uncle and aunt, and the evening’s speaker for services, Matt Gage, the East Bay and Sacramento director for AIPAC. Ari made a wonderful vegan dinner: grilled zucchini, grilled tofu, rice, and other stuff I can’t remember. I haven’t spoken that much about Ari: he’s a delightful fellow, and to see him and the Rabbi together is a treat. Students in the Sacramento area will be lucky: he’s back teaching science full time at a local high school. After dinner, we headed over to Or Rishon for services: first a Tot Shabbat service where Sheryl told one of her wonderful stories (she’s a great storyteller) about two brothers who kept travelling ooover-the-hill to the other, finally meeting in the middle. After that service, we had the regular Shabbat service where Matthew spoke. One interesting fact he related was about a group of 300 US Jewish GIs in Germany during WWII: after being caught by the Germans, they weren’t sent to a POW camp: rather they were sent to a concentration camp and set to hard labor. Only two survived. However, the point of Matthew’s talk was to talk more about AIPAC, a non-partisan pro-Israel lobbying group. He urges us to write our congress and senate critters thanking them for their support of Israel in some recent votes.
Being at services at Or Rishon made me realize how much I missed Sheryl’s services. She has the ability, which I haven’t found in anyone else, to elavate the service from the rote to the spiritual plane. Her joy in being Jewish, in being a Rabbi, in being a teacher, in being a mom, just radiates from her. She turns any congregation she is at into a welcoming family. She did it when she was at Temple Beth Torah, and she’s doing it at Or Rishon. If you’re Jewish and in the Sacramento area, I encourage you to visit a service with her. It’s magic.
So, in short, we had a delightful evening. We got to meet a wonderful new friend (who must visit us the next time she’s in SoCal), and see wonderful old friends. We had a delightful dinner, and relaxing Shabbat services. As George Gershwin wrote: Who could ask for anything more? [well, I could have asked for better traffic on I-80 NB in the afternoon, but it all worked out :-)]
This morning, we’re going to Or Rishon again to join the Rabbi for a Munch and Learn, followed by Shabbat services. We might do lunch with them. After that, we’re going to the Crocker Art Museum to see their M.C. Escher exhibition.
Tomorrow, we’ll be gaming with klellingson and crew at his house [if you are interested and know him, please contact him]. My wife might go shopping, either alone or with LJ folks, if anyone is interested.
Tuesday, we return to San Jose, possibly stopping at the Western Railway Museum on the way back.
We’ve had such good luck with the folks we’ve met on this trip, we do hope we can meet some more friends-list friends in the upcoming days.