Rosh Hashanah - Happy New Year!

September 30, 2008 :: Rosh "Beginning" Hashanah "the year" (Ezekiel 40:1) This is the beginning of the Spiritual new year - celebrating the birth of the world, among other things.

These ideas came from the book "Celebrating Biblical Feasts" by Martha Zimmerman.



Last night we had a special little family dinner celebrating the "Feast of the Trumpets." When I was in grad school, I did home health care for a wealthy little old Jewish lady. I remember going to synagogue with her on Rosh Hashanah and listening for her husband's name to be called from the "Rembering" list. I also remember the apples and honey served at the country club with the delicious Rosh Hashana feast.

No - we are not attempting to be Jewish. But this book has a lot of easy, practical ways to familarize your family with the rich meanings of some of the Biblical Feasts and traditions. At these ages, we do not try to explain all of the Jewish/Gentile stuff to our kids. We simply tell them this is a feast "from the Bible days" and explain the significance. That's enough for now.

We weren't able to begin our feast with the traditional Horn Blowing because we don't have a horn! As goofy as this sounds, I have a shofar on my wish list. I may not be able to afford a really good one, but I hope to at least get a small one some day.

There are many significant things about this feast and the beginning of the "High Holy Days" or the "Days of Awe," but we just kept it very simple and basic and (mostly) tasty.

Apples and Honey - The hope that the coming spiritual year will be a sweet one.
A round loaf (in place of the traditional long braided challah loaf) "symbolic of our desire for a full and round year." (p. 133) My exquisite round loaf was created painstakingly by plopping some frozen yeast rolls in a stainless steel bowl, letting rise to the top, and baking.
"The Hebrew word for carrots also means 'to increase.' therefore, they are eaten in abundance, symbolizing that God will increase our blessings as we walk with Him in the New Year." (p. 133)
Many people serve a whole fish with the head intact. I could only find headless fishes in this here town, so we settled for wild caught frozen salmon. My buttery, flaky spicy-sweet dish was, uh, not appreciated by all.

At the end of the meal Kayla suggested a toast. Caiden was off shooting tigers or something when we toasted. So he had to come back in and get his piece of the grape juice action.
I love that this celebration is at the beautiful time of Autumn. The chilly weather makes us want to gather round and be cozy. I love watching the fields being harvested around our community. There are so many opportunities to focus on the amazing ABUNDANCE of our God during this season.

Comments

Deanna said…
Happy celebrating! I would have appreciated the buttery, flaky spicy-sweet dish! Here is a toast from across the pond.
I'll call soon!
d
Regina said…
What a wonderful tradition to start with your family. I had never thought about celebrating Biblical feasts. Thanks for the idea.
Charity said…
So awesome! We did a celebration for Israel's 60th anniversary. My goal is to do more and more of the Jewish feasts. Christians ARE spiritual Jews. You go, girl!
Nancy said…
What a neat way to celebrate! BTW, I'm drooling over your dishes....so beautiful! You certainly made a "pretty" feast....I'm sure it tasted good as well. We do have a good sized shofar (we got in Israel) and since my husband LOVES to annoy us all by blowing it periodically, I'd GLADLY swap it for your dishes. hahaha! I'm sure he'd love that!
Idril said…
What a great idea! I love the symbolism of the Jewish feasts and would like to do something similar with my 3 kids. A comment on your thought about the Jewish new year being in autumn: isn't it interesting that the times we think of as endings, (fall ends the year, evening ends the day) are thought of as beginnings in the Bible?
Cara said…
Hi Sarah,

I have been a lurker on your blog for a little while and I enjoy it very much. Sounds like we live in the same universe. =)

I wanted to comment on this post because I also have this book by Martha Zimmerman but have not gotten around to celebrating any of the feasts due in part to the complexity of it all! I like your approach and can see that I might be successful if I started very simply and worked up. Thanks for sharing.

I have an interesting connection to you--I've never met you, but you lived in my old house in Jackson, MS. Jamey attended Wesley Biblical several years ago and we enjoyed our time in MS. I am glad that we didn't settle there! The deep South is not for me.

Also, I think you know our good friends Tom and Jenny McCall. I believe Jenny told me about meeting you one time and that your husband is enrolled in TEDS where Tom teaches.

Just out of curiosity, do you also use Zimmerman's Celebrating the Christian Year? I have adopted many of her ideas from that book and use it as a framework for following the Church calendar in our home. It has been a wonderful resource.

Cara Gremillion

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