We have just started Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year. It’s my favorite holiday, as it comes just at the time of year when everything begins to shift: summer into fall, the school year beginning, evenings growing short but luminous. We say to each other L’Shana Tovah: May you have a sweet year ahead.
The foods we eat reflect this yearning for sweetness. Traditionally we eat apples dipped in honey, and make sweet challah bread braided into a round. We eat dates and pomegranates. We enter into a period of reflection: thinking over the past, making note of when we’ve been unskilful in our dealings with ourselves and others, and how we might learn from this, move forward with good intentions. We symbolically throw bread crumbs in a creek or a stream to let go of what we want to let go of, to make room for goodness and sweetness to enter.
I’m having several friends over tomorrow night and I’m making Moroccan Chicken with Dates; Sweet potatoes with orange zest; and a braided honey-curry bread. Someone is making an apple-honey tart. Someone else is bringing wine. Together we’ll make a meal that is more than just a physical repast; it will be a way to welcome sweetness into our lives and our hearts.
For 15 minutes, write about a meal that is more than just a meal. What kinds of meals in your past or present represent something beyond the physical? Or write about your favorite holiday: what is it that brings you joy about this day?
May you have a sweet, sweet year ahead, full of love and good cheer,