Sephardi Rosh Hashanah

From the Point of No Return:

The Jewish New Year begins tomorrow evening with blessings for a sweet New Year. Jews of Sephardi and Mizrahi origin will do more than eat apple and honey: they will have a whole range of different foods.

[snip]…here is what you need for a typical Sephardi seder, together with the blessings recited for each food. Note that the foods can vary from table to table: for instance, French beans are often eaten instead of white beans, etc…

See the rest, here.

This Sephardi tradition for Rosh Hashanah is one we have, thankfully, been able to participate in ever since we made aliyah, thanks to Susan’s family. We enjoy it. It adds something to the usual – dare I say it – bland apple and honey treatment. (But we do enjoy that, too!)

Whatever you do, in case I forget, may you have a sweet, happy, and healthy 5775. Shanah Tovah!


A tip for shofar blowers

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Olve Utne

Source: Wikimedia Commons/Olve Utne


An important part of Orthodox Jewish observance over Rosh Hashanah is hearing the shofar being blown. Other significant aspects of the observance are refraining from dealing (or touching) money, not using electrical items – like TV, computer, and phone, not driving or traveling in a car, and not writing. That’s a simplification, but it will do for the purposes of explaining the following scene.

The Scene

A non religious woman is walking along Ben Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, in the early afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah. As she is passing a hotel where there a lot of very religious Jews staying, one of them asks her if she has heard the shofar.¬† When she says she hasn’t, he invites her to sit while he rounds up some of his chums for an impromptu shofar blowing.

I witness this scene, just passing the small crowd as the last of the shofar sounds (making quite a racket) is made. The woman’s face is beaming at the kindness shown to her. The shofar blowers and their supporters are equally happy at having performed this mitzvah for the woman.

She oh so badly wants to show her appreciation. She goes into her handbag and takes out a note to tip the crew and thank them. Cue running away by the shofar blowers. There’s no way they wanted to be anywhere near that money!

I think the poor woman eventually understood, but it was a moment of sharp contrast when worlds collided. And it was funny – regardless of your religious perspective.

[If you still don’t get it, read the background again. Or ask your local rabbi…]

Shanah Tovah! Happy New Year!

Spot the greeting

So, tonight we start Rosh Hashanah, and it’s goodbye to 5772 and hello to 5773. What a year that was, and next year promises to be even more… interesting.

I’ve completed the introspection,¬†made my resolution, and am all set.

The girls have been busy in the kitchen. Delicious smells waft out to tempt me from the computer. But I need to get this done.

A sweet and happy New Year to you all; may it be a time of health and happiness. And peace. For everyone.

Shanah Tovah!