How strange to be at work and draw blank stares when I mentioned today is the start of Rosh Hashanah. I mean, always in the past, at least people recognized that it was a big holiday. On the tube, I picked up a copy of the Metro, the free newspaper, and there was an article saying that in the UK, there are about 300,000 Jews. Seems like a small number when you consider the UK population is 60 million.
Anyway, Jon and I were invited to dinner by his distant cousins who have three kids our age – Sam, Dani and Jamie. We got off at Golders Green tube station (where else?) and then of course Jon didn’t know where the house was. So we ended up knocking on different doors in the neighborhood asking people if they knew where “the Cohens” lived, which of course was not helpful in the most Jewish neighborhood in London. But we found the house after I realized I still had Dani’s phone number in my mobile. Lucky break for Jon, because I was definitely annoyed when we were ringing those doorbells looking for the house.
Dinner with the cousins was fun. In a full-circle kind of moment, Dani (unprompted by me, I swear! Hasselhoff zeitgeist.) mentioned that she came close to going to a Waterstone’s bookstore to see David Hasselhoff sign copies of his autobiography. Autobiography? Of course I had to look it up on Amazon.com. Check out what he writes in the book jacket (without irony, I’m pretty sure): “This book is about my successes and my failures, my strengths and my weaknesses. And, above all, it is about the hope contained in the Knight Rider slogan: ‘One man can make a difference.'”
Tomorrow, we’re checking out a synagogue nearby that (rumor has it) offers services in English. Always a plus. Last year, I remember the Northern Line was shut down on Rosh Hashanah because of a strike, and then when we took the bus instead, it took ten thousand years to get to the synagogue. Of course, getting there late turned out to be a blessing because the entire service was in Hebrew, which made the service seem interminable.
L’shana tovah, everyone.