Who Could Ask For Anything More?

Last night, rose42dance joined us for dinner and Shabbat Services at Or Rishon in Orangevale. It was a delightful evening.

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.

Monday, we’ll be doing brunch with barelyproper at The Farmers Kitchen in Davis (see this entry) at 10:00am, followed by spending the day with ellipticcurve‘s Worlds-Cutest-NephewTM, and his family.

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.


Awww. A baby.

[Yet again I’m up before everyone. Thanks to the generosity of ellipticcurve‘s sister, I’m able to access LJ to catch up and post.]

Yesterday was a day of driving, friends, and more friends.

After a delighful morning breakfast with ellipticcurve‘s folks, we hit the road for Davis. Along the way, we stopped by to see mertuil, but T-day was too much for her, and she was unavailable. That’s the way life happens, and we understand. It was all part of the cosmic plan anyway, as we still ended up over 30 minutes late to lunch.

The trip from San Jose to Davis was… interesting. It was my first time on I-680, and it reminded me of CA 22. I say that because it is a route desparately in need of maintenance. The signage is old; it needs at least one more lane; it just isn’t built to support its current traffic. Once we hit Walnut Grove, shortly past CA 242, we hit traffic. Bad traffic. All the way bad from 4 mi. before the Benicia bridge to past the bridge. It cleared up, but we found it again when we hit I-80. Given the time by then was 12:30 and we had a 1:00 PM lunch date, we took ellipticcurve‘s advice and took CA 12 S to CA 113 N. Mind you, I was trying to make up time. Hint: Don’t try to make up time on CA 113: it doesn’t mix well with the rolling hills (although I did slow down for the S curves).

We made it to Davis by about 1:40 PM. The folks we were meeting for lunch (barelyproper, klellingson and his family, jumbach, Kurumi, and the Highwayman) had already started on their little nut cups (does anyone get that reference?), so we switched the birds and started on the Turkey Tandoori, as well as other yummis. It was a wonderful lunch, filled with some really interesting conversation. Afterwards, barelyproper, and klellingson and his family joined us in Davis for some shopping. We picked up some books and used CDs, but that was about it.

Evening was with Rabbi Sheryl, Mr. Lucky, and their 6-week old baby. Awww. Cute little boy. I did take a picture of ellipticcurve holding the baby. It was a wonderful vegan Shabbat dinner, and we just sat around and talked until both the Rabbi and the baby were tired, and then we all when to our respective homes (well, ellipticcurve‘s sister’s) and beds.

A wonderful post-T-day day. Today will be Dickens. I’ll be wearing a red denim shirt and a railroad watch on a leather fob.


Congratulations to Rabbi Sheryl and Ari Nosan-Blank

I just got the word. Mazel Tovs (or would that be Tovim?) are due to Rabbi Sheryl Nosan-Blank and Ari Blank of Temple Or Rishon in Orangevale, California. I have been informed that last night, at 10:15 PM, Rabbi Nosan-Blank gave birth to a healthy baby boy (9lb 2oz).

Congratulations to the Nosan-Blank family on the good news. We look forward to seeing the young man when we’re up there over Thanksgiving; alas, we won’t be able to make the bris.


Updates and Farewells

First, an update. Remember I mentioned Thursday night that my wife had an auto accident. It appears to have been staged—not less that 1.5 hours after it happened I had a call from someone at the person-who-hit-her’s body shop wanting over $1200 in cash to fix the car. We told him to talk to our insurance. I don’t think he liked that answer. I’ll note that my wife could never get a license number or his insurance policy, even though insurance is required in this state.

What happened was that my wife was backing out of a parking space in a mall, with a line of cars headed up by a ford-o-saurus waiting for the space. A car zipped around the line and hit her. Our company has indicated to us that it wasn’t our fault, and waived our deductable. In this situation, she couldn’t have expected somone to zip around the line. The car’s in the shop, but the worse damage was psychological, as it triggered memories of the last time my wife got hit by a drunk driver. I don’t know how long that will take to clear.

Luckily, she’s talking about starting her own blog her at LJ, which I think will be good for her. I’ll announce it here when she does.


The farewell: Tonight was our Rabbi’s last regular shabbat at Temple. Big service. Lots of hardfelt thanks from congregants; lots of public statements by the Executive Vice President (I’ll note that the President, who was there, never said anything publically in the way of a farewell). I received a plaque (not a plague).

Its odd, but after experiencing the large congregation, which was actually warmer than this small one that claimed to be warm, I could see the real difference. The facade was there. The cliques were formed. We were on the outside again.

And… I didn’t care.


A Friend Is Moving North

Tonight, we had a delightful dinner with Rabbi Sheryl Nosan-Blank and her husband, Ari. We met Sheryl (pre-Ari) three years ago when she joined Temple Beth Torah, and she has become a very close family friend. We were there for her wedding last year; in fact, she got married under our Chuppah (Wedding Canopy). [A note of clarification: Instead of handing down a wedding dress, we made our own chuppah, to which we add the names of every couple married under it. We have six so far, with only one ending in divorce. That’s a pretty good record.]

Rabbi Nosan-Blank, alas, is leaving our fair community to join Temple Or Rishon in Orangevale California, up Sacramento way. Those folks who read this, are Jewish, and who live up that way: you’re getting a gem. We encourage you to visit her congregation after she arrives in July, and let her know that Daniel and Karen sent you.

We will miss her very much (although we have one more Shabbat service with her to attend). After she moves, we won’t see her again until she lets us know when the baby naming is (she’s due in late October).