Friday Night was about 25 people including our family. We set up a big square of tables near the Ark and enjoyed a Cozy-Shabbat meal. As is our custom on Cozy-Shabbat we went around the table and asked everyone to share something meaningful, memorable, humorous or interesting from their week past, and it was nice to hear from everyone. Alumni guests this weekend were Saul and Aliza, Saul’s from Class of 2005 and they came up to discuss their upcoming June wedding, and we also enjoyed having Dan B. who graduated last winter and is now in an accelerated Masters program for Accounting at Rutgers University. Our son Moshe and daughter Bassie were away in Clifton Park for Shabbos, and our daughter Chani was away with her friends in Duanesburg where one of her friends’ family runs a veterinary clinic. Sara had two classmates over for Shabbos.

Shabbat day flew by quite quickly. We prayed informally, due to the lack of Minyan, but sang many of the songs. Since we could not read Torah, we took turns reading from the Chumash the Parsha of the week. Herman read a piece in Portuguese, some read in Hebrew, most in English. Around that time we got quite close to a Minyan, believe it or not for a Winter Break weekend, but not close enough. We prayed Musaf, and enjoyed a good Shabbos lunch. Being one of the shortest Shabbat afternoons of the year, before you know it, it was time for Havdalah.  Saturday Night we went to a local communal Bat-Mitzvah held at our children’s school then came home to continue studying with Saul and Aliza.

Sunday was Bluma’s Hebrew birthday. Mushky baked up and then iced a magnificent cake (both in terms of taste and appearance) and we had many of the Rubins come for an early evening birthday party and dinner.

Bluma shared 5 things where the #5 is significant in the Torah: 5 Books of Moses; 5 Prayers on Yom-Kippur; 5 Layers of the Soul; 5 Students of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai; and 5 Levels of the Soul. There’s also 5 Expressions of Redemption in the Book of Exodus but she didn’t have a visual on her sheet for that one so she skipped it.