by Sherri Goldman, Administrative and Finance Director
November can be a tough month. The month begins with a transition to longer nights and shorter amounts of daylight. Saying goodbye to the sun can leave many people feeling depressed and sad. There can be a tendency to hibernate, causing us to sleep and eat more. Very tough indeed.
At Mayyim Hayyim, the start of November is when you can really begin to feel the soothing, warm radiant heat under the mikveh tiles. It’s this time of year when the warm water becomes even more comforting as we transition to colder and darker days. Mayyim Hayyim offers a place to mark many transitions in life; celebrations, anniversaries, changes in relationships, and changes in how we adapt ourselves to this changing time of year.
I’ve always enjoyed November. As the weather turns crisp, I happily turn off the air conditioning. I start to eat warm comforting foods, like apple cider donuts and pumpkins bought at the local farmer’s market. November is a time when life gets a little cozier, and I allow myself to enjoy and embrace the coziness.
I also enjoy November because for me, it’s all about family and our family traditions. For seventeen years now, all my husband’s family has gathered at my house for Thanksgiving. The entire month of November is spent with my sisters-in-law discussing recipes and family logistics. Since November is one of the few times of the year we all have the opportunity to gather together, we also include Chanukah as part of our Thanksgiving celebration.
It’s always fun, although rare, when Chanukah falls on or near Thanksgiving, but regardless when Chanukah falls, it’s our family tradition to ceremoniously light the Chanukah menorah at our Thanksgiving table and celebrate “Thanksgivukah.” It might be unusual and unique to my family, but it is a way we love being together.
This year, one of my sisters-in-law suggested we all go as a family to tour and immerse at Mayyim Hayyim. My sisters-in-law and I have been transitioning from the role of being Moms of young children to Moms of young adults. After hearing about Mayyim Hayyim from her temple community in Western MA, she thought bringing our young adult children to Mayyim Hayyim would be a meaningful way to mark a new transition for all of us. Who knows, this might be the start of a new November family tradition.
Sherri is responsible for managing Mayyim Hayyim’s financial and building management operations. Sherri plans on spending the entire month of November planning and cooking her Thanksgiving menu including an annual trip with her sisters-in-law to The Butcherie for the can’t-have-Thanksgiving-without-it, kosher turkey. Sherri also plans on trying not to eat too many apple cider donuts during her time of transition.