The trip to shul

The trip to shul

by Lilian van der Wel

The car is totally packed. We have got three bags and a stuffed picnic-basket. The bigger children have also got their hand-luggage. In the back are the childrens’seats under which there are a lot of crumbs. You could clean them over three times and never eat in the car again, but you would still find crumbs there. We are sitting packed together like sardines, within reach a vomiting tray for the car-sick little girl. For that reason we postpone breakfast till later on.  I can easily fetch the quartetting game and the ‘Le-saper’ cd is already in the cd-player. One who should watch us leaving could easily think we were leaving hearth and home for a three-weeks vacation. But no: we are going to shul!

This morning when we got up and rubbed the sleep from our eyes, we had exactly one hour and fifteen minutes to get out in time with 6 children. But everything depends on  good efficiency and: delegating some more! This is our slogan. The day before, everything has already been set out, the pancakes already baked and the sandwiches made. The trash bin has been emptied and the rabbits have been cared for. The house has been dusted and made Shabbat-ready. Willingly or not so willingly everybody has done their duties.

And ready for take-off! Daddy in his fair suit, is driving the car out of the street skilfully. The eldest son has put in his ear-pieces and is listening to more modern music than his parents’. The little girl soon asks for the desired cd  and after an while the kids in the back are happily singing along with the songs and looking out of the windows. “Daddy, which exit are we going to take?”, they ask again and slowly count the exits with us. But ever so soon they start  quarreling and in this way ask for our correction. But still, it is quite something to sit still for more than an hour packed together like this… In shul they meet their friends, they attend classes to learn how to read Hebrew  and they enjoy the Shabbat school.  In a little while we will be there. The vomiting tray has to be produced and the little one is comforted by her elder sister. When we drive up the parking lot and the time is about half past nine in the morning, then we know we have made it again!

Shabbat shalom!