On Wednesday evening my family and I will begin celebrating the two-day holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah, which means ‘Head of the Year’ in Hebrew, falls in the month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar and is believed to be the month in which God created the world.
In general this holiday is celebrated with festive meals, prayers and self-examination. Rather than the rowdy new year celebrations of December 31st, this holiday is a time for reflection. Each person takes the time to review how they behaved in the past year during the ten days prior to Yom Kippur. During this time period there is the traditional blowing of the shofar. The shofar is a horn made from one of the horns of any kosher animal, except a cow. It is meant to remind those that hear the horn that they are being examined by God for their behaviour in the past year.Throughout Rosh Hashanah no bitter or sour food is eaten. People eat sweet food, symbolizing the desire to have a new year filled with sweetness. Special meals for the holiday include pomegranates, apples dipped in honey (thus my paper bees!), and challah bread in a round loaf, to symbolise the circle of life and of the year.
Whilst we're on the subject of food, it's been a long time since I posted anything food related here, but a recent cooking disaster was turned around with the discovery of a yummy new recipe which I thought I'd share with you. Last week I overcooked the lentils for a salad I was making, so searched the web for an idea of what to do with a pot of slightly mushy green lentils. A Macheesmo recipe for Red Lentil Falafels popped up, using lentils, instead of chickpeas, as a new twist on an old favourite. The falafel were easy to make, very tasty and turned out to be a great new addition to my kid's lunchboxes.
Bon appétit, or b'tayavon as we say in Hebrew, and whilst I am at it, 'Shana Tova U’Metuka' ("May you have a happy and sweet year"). I would like to wish all my Jewish customers and friends a very happy and peaceful holiday, and, in the words of the traditional blessing, "May You Be Written and Sealed for a Good Year."