Posts Tagged ‘Yom Kippur’

L'Shana Tova

L’Shana Tova

For Jews around the world, this evening marks the beginning of the two day celebration of their New Year, Rosh Hashana.

The festival of Rosh Hashanah which means Head of the New Year is observed for two days beginning on the first day of the Jewish  year.  It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman.  The explanation below was excerpted from the web site Chabad.org


The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, which also represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their king. The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance, for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance thereof,  and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Another significance of the shofar is to recall the Binding of Isaac  which also occurred on Rosh Hashanah, in which a ram took Isaac’s place as an offering to God; we evoke Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son, and plead that the merit of his deed should stand by us as we pray for a year of life, health and prosperity. Altogether, we listen to one hundred shofar blasts over the course of the Rosh Hashanah services.

Additional Rosh Hashanah observances include: a) Eating a piece of apple dipped in honey, to symbolize our desire for a sweet year, and other special foods symbolic of the new year’s blessings. b) Blessing one another with the words “Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim,” “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” c) Tashlich, a special prayer said near a body of water (an ocean, river, pond, etc.), in evocation of the verse, “And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea.” And as with every major Jewish holiday, after candlelighting and prayers we recite kiddush and make a blessing on the challah.

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Well, it wasn’t exactly a clash but I thought the title might catch your eye!  Last night was “erev” Yom Kippur which means it was the eve of the holiday.  Yom Kippur is the holiest day in the Jewish faith, a day of reflection and atonement.  Being a Catholic it seems like it’s a day where you think about your sins and ask for forgiveness, sort of like a day long confession.  However, the Jews take it one step further and not only ask forgiveness from God but also from those to whom they may have done harm to during the year.  Very nice idea.

Having said all that, I am married to a non-practicing, atheist but somewhat cultural Jew.  He doesn’t go to synagogue unless there’s a Bat Mitzvah or wedding and he eats shellfish, pork and dairy at the same meal as meat.  In other words it’s very easy for an Italian Catholic to be married to him since I don’t engage in my religion although I deeply espouse it.  It’s a marriage not of compromise but rather one of peaceful co-existence regarding religion.  Fortunately for us, we don’t have any children together and we didn’t raise any together so their religious training or lack thereof has never been issue.  We have a crucifix in the bedroom and a menorah in the living room.  Christmas is celebrated as is Passover and Rosh Hoshana, the latter two dependent upon invitations from friends and family.  I am a good cook but I haven’t ventured very far into Jewish traditional cooking and would rather leave the making of tsimmis to my sister-in-law.

This past week or so I have been playing a lot of Mah Jongg and all of the women in my group are Jewish, what a surprise!  Anyway much discussion has taken place about the holiday food, the going to Temple, and the traditions in general.  The other day lots of talk was centered around the tradition of the Yahrzeit candles.  These candles are purchased and lit on the anniversary of the death of a loved one and also at sundown on the eve of Yom Kippur in memoriam of those who have passed away.  There are also several other occasions when one might light a Yahrzeit candle.  We have never done so in our house.

I guess it was the culmination of much discussion and the one holiday falling on the heels of the other that inspired me yesterday to surprise my husband with some “treats”.  We were planning a quiet evening and dinner at home so on my way  home from work I stopped at Fairway and bought gifilte fish, potato latkes, and noodle kugel as well as 4 candles.

I waited till he had made himself a martini and then brought out the gifilite fish with some horseradish (a tradition).  He loved it.  I looked up online when sundown was to occur and precisely at 7:10pm last night I produced 4 candles lit in honor of both of our parents who have been long gone but not forgotten.  There was no praying just the lighting and it made me cry when I thought of what this stood for and how much I have missed my mother my whole life, since she died when I was 9 years old.

English: A lit Yahrtzeit candle, a candle that...

English: A lit Yahrtzeit candle, a candle that is lit on the Hebrew anniversary of a loved one’s death. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now here’s the clash (in some eyes perhaps but not ours);  I made dinner which was a pasta dish I created while cooking .  I sauteed aspargus in lots of garlic and oil, tossed in a small can of drained and rinsed garbanza beans and then the ale-dente-cooked linguine to the braising pan with the asparagus.  I topped it off with some shredded parmigano-reggiano cheesw and I have to say it was delicious as evidenced by the fact that there was none left over.

Once the dishes were cleared and we were settled in to watch Minority Report, I went into the kitchen and came back with two dishes of noodle kugel.  I thought it was great, so full of cinnamon, he thought it a bit dry, but what do I know?

A s you can see cultures don’t have to clash;  They  can mesh into a lovely evening and a delightful if not varied dinner.  Today true to his own set of beliefs, he is not fasting  but I keep reminding him of his sins LOL LOL. He’s also wearing a suit!


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This is CDC Clinic Chief Nurse Lee Ann Jean-Lo...

Flu Shot

I just looked at my last post and realized it was a week ago! Where have the past 7 days gone or for that matter the last two weeks?

I went to the doctor’s the first week of October and got a flu shot; the next day I got a sore throat, and the next day the sore throat got worse and by the third day I could hardly talk and spent the day sucking on green tea drops and Hall’s honey lozenges.   What made that third day worse was the fact that we did an antique show.  The night before we spent 3 hours setting up and were there all day Saturday and it was pretty much a bust as far as I’m concerned.  The sales were SO SLOW and SO SMALL, it wasn’t worth while at all.  NOW, we should have known better; first of all it was Yom Kippur – granted Ocean Grove is pretty much a Christian community but really now!  Then it was an absolutely beautiful day and the town held its Fall Harvest Festival which I understood was just MOBBED!  But did anyone on the street know there was an antique show going on near the Great Auditorium?  Apparently NOT.  Lesson learned, will not do that again.

The next day I worked and the income for that day was certainly less than the effort – overall not a very lucrative weekend and I used up a box of tissues blowing my nose while my  sinuses drained and then drained some more.  Mmmmm I think I’m probably entering into the TMI zone – Sorry!

When I started this blog over a year and a half ago, I made a decision to write about life, love, friends, family, events, movies, news, politics, recipes…well just about anything whether it be Smooth or Crunchy just like my favorite PB & J sandwich.  I even stated that I knew it would be essentially what every other blog is and that is: an egomaniacal stream of consciousness.  I did however also decide that I would not use the blog as my personal online diary, documenting every thought that crossed my mind or every problem, every family event, everything going on in my life, my husband’s or my kid’s.

And the reason I’m bringing this up is my way of telling you all that the reason  a week has gone by since I wrote a blog is that there is a LOT going on in my life at this time that has kept me distracted.  And of course as life would have it, many incidents have clustered together to make this a very stressful time.  I know in the past sometimes I have litanized a series of crazy events and done so in a satirical tongue in chic  but not this time.   Life has become too serious at the moment but I’m still here and am not giving up on my blog or my readers so hang in guys, there’s more to come.

So now it’s been 10 days; I’m still blowing my nose and got a cold sore from all that action and although the sore throat is gone, I am coughing and then coughing again!

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