Hosting kiddush for Papa’s 2nd yahrzeit

I can use big words and use them well, but I’m also a childish creature and feel that the quality of my writing often conceals my smallness.

* * *

Papa’s 2nd yahrzeit (anniversary of death) is just around the corner. The official Hebrew date falls out on July 16th – next Thursday. This coming Shabbat morning (July 11th), I plan to host a small kiddush after Saturday morning services in the park.

In Israel, we may now be at the cusp of a 2nd lockdown due to COVID-19. Certainly, we’re in the midst of a 2nd wave, and the government has already implemented new restrictions, including further limits upon indoor and outdoor gatherings. Therefore, the morning prayer service this weekend has been limited to twenty people.

Now, technically, one need not attend the shacharit service in order to attend the kiddush afterwards; and I would be more than happy if friends were to stop by for kiddush, even if they were unable to attend the prayer service beforehand.

However, our community has rightfully compensated for the newly reimposed restrictions by holding multiple prayer services, beginning at staggered times. Therefore, some of my friends will be in the midst of their morning prayers during my little kiddush. Further (let’s be real), not many are likely to attend a Saturday morning kiddush at 8:30 in the morning if they haven’t already gotten up for services beforehand.

Beyond this, my little kiddush will not be announced by the community because official community kiddushes have been verboten since the pandemic broke out, back in March. There will certainly be some attendees at the prayer services who feel uncomfortable gathering for kiddush afterwards – even outside in the park.

I am fully expecting low attendance.

* * *

Given the circumstances, I should be thankful that a 2nd lockdown hasn’t been declared yet. I should be, and I am, thankful that I have this opportunity to host a kiddush in memory of Papa this year.

Also, I am doing my utmost to host a safe kiddush, taking the following precautions:

  • Kiddush will be held outside
  • All servings of food will be individually prepackaged
  • I will bring hand sanitizer to the kiddush

But… all of this amounts to a much more limited kiddush experience than I had last year, and I find myself feeling fairly deflated. I am truly sick and tired of the Coronavirus.

This is all so petty, and I so know it. While I kvetch here about not being able to host and enjoy a full-size kiddush with my prayer community, countless other people are worried for their very lives. Clearly, eloquent writing doesn’t make one an adult.

* * *

Well, I shall make the most if it.

There shall be whiskey, herring, cheese, and crackers; and I’ve made a preemptive attempt to maximize attendance by sending personal invitations to my friends.

As I said – I am thankful to have such an opportunity at all, given the ongoing pandemic…

I just wish this were under happier and healthier circumstances.

9 thoughts on “Hosting kiddush for Papa’s 2nd yahrzeit”

    1. Yes, it was, especially given that it was towards the beginning of the pandemic… I’m not sure that I will do the same this year because I feel completely disconnected from shul / community. My beloved minyan is no more – a casualty of COVID-19.

      Shavua Tov,

      1. Shavuah Tov and Chodesh Tov, David!
        I am so sorry about your minyan.
        Since my father’s Yurzeit is three days before Pesach, we have usually sponsored the first Pesach lunch in shul (our shul is very big on communal lunches, dinners, Yomim Tovim, etc.), but last there were no communal Seders and no communal lunches. This year we are sponsoring, but not attending, unfortunately. My husband will be there to say Kaddish and to daven Musaf, but not for the meal. Sadly, it is not safe for me to be there at all.

        1. *sigh*

          that’s such a bummer that it’s not safe for you, Dolly.

          have you managed to get vaccinated yet? my Mom just got her first of the two Pfizer shots last week – she lives in Princeton.


          1. I am glad for your mom’s sake, David. My doctor thinks it is too risky for me to get vaccinated because of several issues. I’ll just have to wait until everybody else gets it and the numbers of cases go down.

          2. That’s why I have stayed at home since last March, teaching online. I literally do not step outside our courtyard. This is a tourist playground here, where masks and social distancing are highly hypothetical.

          3. I am too busy to have psychological issues, David. I work, I cook, I write, I watch interesting films, and I enjoy evening time in our lovely courtyard with my husband. Beats the Russian jail, believe me!
            Have a great day,

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