It's that time of year again; time to take stock of the past year, deeds and misdeeds, good and bad, successes and failures. And somehow, it always sneaks up on us and we are never ready. Those of you who are on FB can tell that I am finally in the "groove" with the articles, videos, etc. that I have been posting. Since women don't usually make it to selichos, I'm going to try and use the time that TPH is there to learn something, or watch something inspiring. Last night, I was perusing aish's website, and found some pretty good stuff. It's something.
For me, and more and more women every year, this time doesn't only mean shopping, planning, cooking, menus, etc., but for me it comes with another factor altogether, and that's the departure of roughly 30,000 men to Uman. These men go to daven at the grave of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov on Erev Rosh HaShana, and stay through until after the holiday.
TPH doesn't go every year. I think since we've been married 12 years, this will be his 7th or 8th time going. It's hard traveling from the States: 24 hours total door to door. From Israel though, it's a different story; they hop on the plane and are in the Ukraine in 2 hours.
Admittedly, I have mixed feelings about sending the troops to Uman. It does mean a week home alone with the kids over a Yom Tov. It also means finding a way to get us all to hear shofar, which is harder than it sounds (no pun intended :). But, as I get older, I am more inclined to send him happily, as I see the recharge that it gives TPH, and how it truly affects our home throughout the chagim.
This year though, besides just having gone through the biggest upheaval we have ever faced as a family, both A and B will be joining BAW on the trip. It will be A's 3rd time, and he gets to be the seasoned big brother for B who was supposed to go last year, and was crushed when they didn't make it. You can imagine the worries that come with sending a 7 year old off for a week to the Ukraine with his father: Will he be bored? (Davening goes from 4am to 4pm) Will he get lost? (20,000 to 30,000 men go every year) Will he be tired? Hungry? (When BAW is davening for 73 hours a day, who will get him what he needs?)
But you push these thoughts away, and you trust your husband. You trust that he knows what he's doing, that he cares about his kids as much as you do. And most importantly, you send them because they want to go. No,they are dying to go, BEGGING to go, and I do believe that it is good all around and that the whole family reaps the benefits throughout the year.
So, like all good Breslov women, I am packing. Packing clean shirts and pants, challahs, cookies, snacks, fruit. Books, siddurim, machzorim, seforim. Drinks, PJ's, pillows, blankets. Sweatshirts, shoes, socks.
And while I am packing, I am hoping that they'll think of their mother/wife and say a little prayer for me, too.