Welcome to the Days of Awe.
This is a ten-day period beginning on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and ending on Yom Kippur (September 22nd). According to Jewish belief, this is the week the entire world is judged by God, so it's time to get our acts together everybody. My Buddish friend Ilona was filling me in this morning on our walk at Wunderlick Park in Woodside.
She shared passionately about Jewish ceremonies of food and spirit. Latkes (fried potato pancakes) are eaten on Hanukkah to mark the Temple oil staying lit for eight days. Passover matzo (unleavened bread) commemorates the Jews who fled Egypt before their bread could rise. And on Rosh Hashanah, last Sunday, apples and honey bring hope of a sweet new year for all.
Jews will be fasting on Yom Kippur (starting sundown this Tuesday), as a way to rise above the daily grind, and spend time thinking about how to improve oneself in the New Year. I think I might join them. It's always good to fast now and again, because it gives us a moment to approach our day and our life with more awareness.
And if I got this right, at sundown Wednesday, the fast is broken and breadcrumbs are symbolically tossed into water as a way of releasing our ackowledged imperfections.
So this week there is no recipe; no big party.
Just a space to stop and think about our lives. To acknowledge anyone we may have wronged, or anything we want to change.
Time to pour oneself a cup of tea and ask...
How might I be a better person?