September 24, 2004

family at holidays

As ways for resetting your moral compass, there's solitude and reflection and then there are friends. Maybe there's a reason that, though the High Holy Days are a time for introspection, they begin and end with big services that are held in community, usually with big crowds showing up.

My family has never been that observant. We went to holiday services and some Shabbat services, lit Shabbat and Chanukah candles (though not Havdalah candles) and my brother and I went to Hebrew school, but we didn't keep kosher, recite the Shema when we woke up and other blessings through the day, or go to daily services. For holidays, we'd have a big family dinner, but without doing a full-blown Seder at Passover or all the blessing of bread and wine before and thanksgiving prayers after other meals.

Now that I'm a few thousand miles away without too many other Jews around, I like to celebrate major holidays with a big dinner of my own. We usually invite friends over (even though I generally have to explain what the holidays are) and have had T2 and Egret several times.

I didn't get to do much for Rosh Hashanah this year: too much going on and it happened midweek. But Egret decided we'd had them over too many times and she needed to reciprocate, so she invited us over for dinner for Yom Kippur.

I will wait while you all go "Awww...." and then "Uh-oh."

No, I didn't have the heart to point out that it's traditionally a fasting holiday. I don't fast these days anyway, so it didn't seem terribly relevant. But what a gesture of friendship. She's not Jewish, mind you (actually, I think she has about 1/4 or 1/8 Jewish blood, but was brought up Catholic). I did have to laugh the other day when she asked she needed to put out salt water and parsley or if that was another holiday. Then I had to sniffle today when she told me her menu: Chicken soup. Matzo balls. An apricot chicken recipe she found at a Jewish site. Again: not Jewish. Just trying to make a friend feel loved. (Oh, and also homemade bread and chocolate cake. Mmm.)

Now you can go "Awwwww...*snif*" without the "Uh-oh" afterward.

Posted by dichroic at September 24, 2004 01:35 PM
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