Tonight is the beginning of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year. I get to host a family dinner that kicks off two days in the synagogue thinking about the year that has been, our relationships, our behavior, the ways we must change, what we value, what God wants from us, and on and on. It’s not lighthearted, but there is a lot of joy in it. The rabbis have got us for a good long time and we cover a lot of ground. The music is beautiful, with special tunes that are sung only in this season, and only in synagogue. It’s pretty great.
We start the meal with two challah loaves, which are round to symbolize the circle of a year. (I get mine from a non-Jewish bakery that knows to make them round this week. I love New York.) We also eat apples dipped in honey, hard-boiled eggs, and dishes involving sweetness and pomegranates. There are lots of possibilities but I tend to make the same menu every year. I’m sure I’m not the only one who throws in a couple of Passover recipes, like matzah balls in chicken soup and Mrs. Feinberg’s Vegetable Kugel. (Both recipes featured here.) Matzah balls are round, and Mrs. Feinberg’s kugel is sweet, and I will argue the point with any rabbi.
Trained by my local PBS stations, who know their audience, I like to watch certain films this time of year.
The crème de la sour cream of Jewish-themed movies — better than The Ten Commandments or Exodus, I say– is Fiddler on the Roof. I loved this 1971 movie when I was a Lutheran girl, and I love it as a grown-up Jewish lady. I loved it as a play on Broadway with Harvey Fierstein. It’s incredible.
On this Lazy Sunday, please make sure to biddy biddy bum all day long.