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Boring in Israel – Rosh Hashanah

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L’Shana Tova!

As I raise this glass of pommegranate wine to the new year, I am giving thanks for being an impulse shopper, and buying 15 chickens to freeze when they were on sale last month.

You see, one of the leading news a few days ago was the chicken shortage expected over the high holidays due to the alignment of Islam’s and Judaism’s holy days this year. Luckily I had plenty of chicken to feed the 40+ people who had dinner with us to usher in the new year of 5777!

This year, once again, we skipped the pommegranate chicken, this year in favour of a honey glazed chicken that involved a lot less work. When you cook for 40+ people making things simpler is important! A bushel of apples, several jars of honey, a lot of pommegranates (our first harvest!) served as dessert. For today, I made some honey zserbó, because I am glutton for punishment, and baking for three days is just what I wanted to do while preparing for exams.

So what have we done to welcome the new year? First of all, cleaned and cooked. Then went to synagogue to welcome in the new year, while our non-Jewish family members remained home. We had picked up two lone soldiers to spend the holiday with us, while our current soldiers, unfortunately, couldn’t come home this year. We called them after the new year came in, and we could FaceTime with one of them. While there was a dinner at shul, too, this year we hosted some of our extended family, too, so we hurried home. We ate outside, and I can’t wait for Sukkot to do it again with these lovely people.

This year the Islamic New Year coincides with Rosh Hashanah (and this year Ashura will be October 11, and Yom Kippur will begin on October 11 as well), and while the new year usually involves fasting and introspection–not unlike the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur–we were joined by our beloved former neighbours from the time we lived in Yafo to celebrate our new years. It is 1438 for them, and 5777 for us. This is the neighbour who named his daughter Leia, because he is a geek, an his younger son is named Luka, both for Skywalker and Picard. 🙂

My grandmother and great-aunt came to visit from Eilat, and while they chose to stay at a hotel this year, they joined us both last night and today. I am not surprised they chose the hotel, a total of 35 of us spent the night. I’m glad my sister at point wanted to teach yoga and ended up storing all the yoga mats at our place! They double nicely as temporary beds.

Obviously one of the most important parts of Jewish holidays is the prayers we sing. One of those thatw e sing at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services in Avineu Malkeinu.

This version by Barbra Streisand is one of the most beautiful ones and it always gives me chills. Only a few days ago, at Shimon Peres’ funeral we heard another moving rendition of the same prayer by David D’Or.

2 Responses to “Boring in Israel – Rosh Hashanah”

  1. Rachel says:

    L’Shana Tova to you!
    I made baked chicken with apples, onions and garlic, and it was a big hit.
    Have a sweet year.

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