1. My husband and I come from very different Jewish backgrounds and traditions. I was raised very conservative, almost Orthodox. He was raised Reform.
  2. For me the high holidays were serious occasions, done almost all in Hebrew, chanted quickly over two days by old white men*. For him, it was joyous and participatory, a mix of Hebrew and English for one day.
    *my memories of that time are admittedly biased
  3. For me, the highlight of Rosh Hashanah was our two big family dinners. For him, dinner was a quick sandwich so as not to be too full to sing in the choir.
    The first night with my mom's family on the north side, near us; the next out on the south side of the city with my dad's side.
  4. When my husband and I got together, the holidays were hard for me to navigate. We lived in a city without either of our families so large family dinners were out. Him continuing to sing in a choir made sense.
  5. But the holidays didn't feel right.
  6. The service was different. The music was different. And while I sat with friends, I felt like I was by myself since he was with the choir.
  7. I began to dread the high holidays.
    My husband had brought me back to Judaism after years of rejecting organized religion (but that's a story for another time) and now here I was wanting out again.
  8. I finally lost it the year our daughter was born and starting crying about how much I didn't want to go to services and how much I missed my holiday traditions.
    It didn't help that my father had passed away earlier that year and I would be saying Yizkor (the memorial prayer for the dead) for my dad without my husband next to me.
  9. And he told me he would quit choir next year.
    As you might imagine, that did not make me feel better, but worse.
  10. I got through that year but don't remember much.
  11. After the holidays he told me he had told the choir director he would not participate the following year and I started to protest. He stopped me. He would do choir every other year.
  12. "We'll alternate holiday traditions, next year we'll do yours."
  13. And that's how it been since.
  14. This year he's in the choir.
  15. And I look forward to hearing him sing.
  16. May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life for a happy and healthy year. L'Shana Tovah!