Rosh Hashanah

Last night was a celebration of the beginning of the New Year. We were fortunate enough to have dear friends and family to celebrate with us.

Thursday, mom and I cooked most our Rosh dinner from scratch; the chicken was Murray's was from Fairway. Shhh, don't tell.

And most of it I could eat except of course the Challah or the Noodle Kugel or any of the desserts. But the meat was mighty fine and I can't wait to attack the leftovers! However, leftovers will have to wait as we are invited to spend another Rosh at my dear friend Stephanie's mother-in-law's house tonight. Oy, the eating this weekend! How lucky am I?

First the good stuff, the dinner menu.

Chopped liver
Franks in Blanks
Apples in honey
Round Challah

Roasted Chickens
Brisket with onions, carrots and potatoes
Noodle Kugel with raisins and without
Buttered Green Beans

Chocolate Babka
Cheesecake strudel

Second, more good stuff, the conversation.

Arthur attempted to raise the issue of resolution: what each of us thinks we might do in the New Year differently or better or with more effort or focus. This is part of the Days of Awe concept:

“One of the ongoing themes of the Days of Awe is the concept that God has "books" that he writes our names in, writing down who will live and who will die, who will have a good life and who will have a bad life, for the next year. These books are written in on Rosh Hashanah, but our actions during the Days of Awe can alter God's decree. The actions that change the decree are "teshuvah, tefilah and tzedakah," repentance, prayer, good deeds (usually, charity). These "books" are sealed on Yom Kippur. This concept of writing in books is the source of the common greeting during this time is “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year”.” [definitions care of]

And then Casey brought up a very fine question: “What does Rosh Hashanah actually mean?” which silenced the boisterous table. Like cricket-time. Not one of us knew.

So Casey, after synagogue today, I ran home and looked it up: Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year."

I'm looking forward to another evening of friends and family and food and to the next ten Days of Awe, to contemplate the year past and the year ahead.

Shana Tova!


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