Of all the holidays we celebrate over the course of the year I sense that one Yom Tov, in particular, is more deeply connected to our physical home than any other. It can’t be Pesach that I’m referring to as many of us find ourselves away from home traveling to be with family for the Sedarim. Although Chag Sukkot is centrally focused on where we actually sleep/reside, the holiday encourages us to look past our physical abode and see ourselves in more spiritual terms. Hence, we go outdoors, living under the protection of the Creator for much of the time. It certainly isn’t Yom Kippur where the custom is to spend the day in the synagogue and even if you find yourself at home, it will surely feel different than other days of the year when one can brew a cup of coffee at the flick of a switch.
This brings us to Rosh Hashanah which we will be celebrating in the coming days. Anecdotally speaking, on the first night of Rosh Hashanah more people will enjoy their meals at their “homestead” than on any other Jewish Yom Tov of the year. Children who have “flown the coop,” whether married or unmarried, make their way back to their parent’s home, some sharing their childhood bedrooms with a new spouse or child for the first (or 20th) time.
For many in our neighborhood our houses will be at full capacity, embracing kids and, for some of us, grandkids and great grandkids. And our homes, while not used technically speaking to perform any of the holiday rituals, will become the setting for many of the festivities, the proverbial canvas for our holiday painting. And, of course, everything needs to be working at maximum working capacity and efficiency. The kitchen fridge (and garage fridges and basement fridges) will be fully stocked, with the never ending meals being prepared and arranged. Bedrooms all made up with fresh linen and bathrooms cleaned and in working order. In a sense our houses made of brick and mortar become the glue that brings together the family, the memories and the prayers for the coming year.
Our tradition teaches us that the way we conduct ourselves over the coming two days of Rosh Hashanah is a harbinger for the coming year. Most famously we dip an apple in honey in the hope that the coming year will be filled with sweetness.
As this is a column on real estate, how could I miss this opportunity to wish the entire community and all of Bergen County good health and happiness as we bask in the warmth and comfort that our homes and families provide.
Nechama Polak is the broker of record and owner of V and N Group LLC located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck. [email protected] 201 826 8809.