Brisket and Blessings

challahFor as long as I can remember, on the first night of Tishri, the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar, Muri has made brisket for dinner.    It is a traditional meal for the first night of Rosh Hashanah, commonly known as the Jewish New Year.   Many of Muri’s traditions have become mine over the years, but brisket isn’t one of them.   Rosh Hashanah certainly has.  The notion of a spiritual holiday that is dedicated to introspection rather than gifts and miracles has always appealed to me philosophically.  Rosh Hashanah begins the holiest of days in Judaism, the so called Days of Awe, which end ten days later with Yom Kippur.  In Jewish tradition, God writes our names in the Book of Life on Rosh Hashanah, which determines who will live and who will die, who will have a good life and who will have a bad life, for the next year.  Actions we take during the Days of Awe, specifically repentance, prayer and good deeds, can alter God’s written decree, which is why Jews greet each other with the the traditional Rosh Hashanah blessing, L’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem meaning, May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.   I don’t picture God writing in books or deciding whether I’ll have a good year based on what I do during a single week in Tishri.   But I do believe that God has a purpose for each of us and that to find that purpose it is necessary to stop periodically to consider our lives.

craig parkSo today, Muri and I will be in the park reading from the machzor, a special prayerbook used for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  We’ll both think about the year just passed and our part in it.  We’ll walk to the edge of the lake and cast stones symbolizing our sins into the glassy water.  And we’ll start another year together, wishing each other L’Shannah Tovah, hoping the next year is better than it appears it will be right now.

I’d like to wish you all L’Shannah Tovah, too, and thank you for stopping by Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog.

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One Comment on “Brisket and Blessings”

  1. cherperz Says:

    I love the act of casting stones into the water. In fact, I like the whole idea of a specific time put aside to size up where where a person is in their life and think introspectively about one’s actions past, present and future. Even the name “Days of Awe” is cool.

    May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year, Bud and Muri.

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