A 3-Year-Old on the Jewish Holidays
My 3-year-old Tsofia is a baby no longer…
In August she started attending a big-girl gan with prayer and parshat hashavua and more doll strollers than she can count on both hands (I mean, if she could count. Now she counts like this: “One, two, eight, nine, ten!).
Tsofia is thrilled to be in a big-girl gan (I mean, she is thrilled once she is done with her daily tearful “Eema, don’t go!” followed by my daily promise of any color popsicle she wants after pick-up–pineapple, tutti-fruity, apricot, or even cherry!).
But despite her excitement, I’m sure that Tsofia often has no idea what’s going on in big-girl gan.
I actually remember being three. I remember going on a trip with my parents (my mother later explained it was a trip to visit a relative in Queens) and seeing a huge white globe (from a former Worlds Fair, my mother later explained) and wondering “Where are we and where are we going and WHY?” I remember the lost confusion of having no idea what was happening and trying to figure it all out…
And I see my Tsofia going through that same process with attempting to making sense of all the new things she’s learning in her big-girl gan….
Before Rosh Hashana Tsofia came home and announced that she had learned from Ganenet Rachel (actually she calls her “Ganenet Achel…she can’t say the letter “R” yet) that soon we would be celebrating the holiday when we eat apples with honey!
And then last week Tsofia returned home and announced with equal excitement that soon we would have a holiday called “Kippoo” which we celebrate by “only washing our fingers!” I understood that the Ganenet “Achel” had taught her that on Yom Kippur we are only allowed to wash our hands up to the knuckles.
But then it occurred to me that Tsofia’s original thigh-sized view of the Jewish calendar isn’t so strange after all.
First you celebrate Rosh Hashana, and eat the apple and honey so your fingers get all sticky. And then, in His infinite wisdom, just a few days later Hashem provided a holiday on which to wash them off:)