Sunday, September 28, 2008

Shana Tova שנה טובה


Tomorrow is Erev Rosh Hashana, the Hebrew New Year's Eve. We are entering year 5769. Tishrei is the month of the high holidays (Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Succot, Simchat Torah). The preceding month, Elul, is the month leading up to this dense holiday season which centers around forgiveness and renewal. During the month of Elul it is customary to start each day very early by saying "Selihot", asking God for forgiveness.



My grandfather used to keep up with this custom almost until his death. He was a Sephardic Jew, faithful but pretty laid back about his religion. A Maimonides Jew. He was a story teller, with a comedian's temper. He could mesmerize us with the stories of his salad days in Turkey, for example, his encounter with an enticing deviless who once waited for him on the bridge as he walked to the synagogue to say Selihot... He was a good looking man and I was not surprised that a very beautiful Lilith in a white dress, her very long black hair draped over her shoulder, tried to lure him to the evil side...



He also had a very melodious voice, often leading the prayer in the synagogue; I heard from him this sephardic version of
Adon Haselihot.


Tomorrow evening we will celebrate the new year with the usual accouterments: apples, honey, a festive dinner, wine, blessings, gifts and wishes.


I have made more than my usual efforts with this holiday dinner which will include grilled fish, coq au vin, rice with pine nuts and raisins, the mandatory spinach dish, an apple meringue cake. I'll be making my own challa ring, with honey and amaretto.


So
Shanah Tova to all my friends, new and old, some of whom may be virtual but feel real. Happy 5769!

7 Comments:

At 1:27 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shana Tova Umetuka to you and yours.

And thank you for your interesting and spirited blog.

 
At 7:53 AM EDT, Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

Shana Tova to you too, Noga, and many happy visits in the new one.

Cheers.

 
At 8:52 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Amen:)

 
At 9:52 AM EDT, Blogger bob said...

I feel quite real! Shanah Tova Noga.

 
At 10:51 AM EDT, Anonymous TNC said...

Shanah Tova, Noga!

 
At 11:17 AM EDT, Anonymous nwo said...

Shana Tova!

I dont know what that means!

Ha Ha!

 
At 11:24 AM EDT, Blogger The Contentious Centrist said...

Shana = year

Tova = good

To a good year

Thanks.

 

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