The call of the shofar represents breath and life. For this High Holy Day, pomegranates are a favorite. In this tradition, the fish is symbolic of many things. Consider a buffet: Large gatherings are difficult to seat properly in a family home.
I decided to make challah for the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) and thought I would share the process. What I couldn’t believe was how easy it is to make this egg bread and that you shouldn’t be intimidated when considering making bread from scratch.
So, is the Book of Life figurative or literal? Is it a poetic or a concrete use of words? I believe it is both. If God plays a hand in our destiny, then it might be that our fate is sealed already. However, we are told that “t’shuvah, tefillah and tzedakah” (repentance, prayer and charity) can change God’s decree. If this is so, we can create – or co create – our fate for the year. We can change God’s mind, if it were. We help God write our page in the Book of Life for the coming year – or for our whole life.
When you think of Rosh Hashanah you think of challah! These round loaves of braided egg bread are one of the most recognizable food symbols of the holiday. During this High Holy Day, challah loaves are shaped into rounds, spirals (ladders) or birds. These shapes are symbolic of the cycle of life, hope that prayers rise to heaven, and the continuity of creation. Depending on preference and family recipes, sweet fruits such as raisins or even honey are added to the loaves to make them extra sweet.
Meditation: The Eucharist was not the only sacrament founded on that first Holy Thursday. The Church also traces Christ’s founding of the priesthood to this evening, through His command to celebrate the Eucharist “in remembrance of Me.” What attitude should the Twelve, and all priests and bishops after them, bring to their priesthood? The sense of pride and superiority that the chief priests and Pharisees had adopted by Jesus’ time? Quite the opposite, as we see here.
The shofar is unique in that it is a musical instrument typically created from the horn of a kosher male animal. According to Rabbi Moshe Gallante II’s Elef Hamagen, the horn preferences delineate with the curved ram horn, curved other sheep horn, curved other animal horn and straight ram’s horn being the order of most preferred to least. If non-kosher animal horns are used, there must be a special bracha or blessing. Still cow horns or antlered animal horns are not preferred.
This Sunday evening ushers in Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Though the Christian calendar reads September 16, 2012, the Jewish calendar reports Elul 29, 5772, the last day of the year. The next day, Tishre 1, 5773 begins the New Year.
After the cleansing process is over, the shofars must be taken out from the solution. It must be known that these may continue to give out the smell of bleach for almost a month. To reduce the smell of bleach as much as possible, the shofars must be rinsed thoroughly in clear water and wiped dry.
Our destiny, our fate for the next year remains sealed not until next Yom Kippur, however, but until we make a new choice, think a new thought, get into a different emotional pattern.or God feels the need to take us in hand. That’s cocreation at it’s best.