0 comments / Posted by kristin spear

Last week I text my neighbor and ask her what her family is doing for Rosh Hashana.
She says “Well we are bad Jews so, nothing.”
I said “Ok. I will text around for a good Jew and see if I can get some inside scoop for my blog.” She sends a smiley face.
By Sunday I get a message from her, “Do you want to come for dinner for the High Holiday on Monday night?”
I am so excited to get an invitation to experience other cultures and faith-based holidays.
I text her “Btw, I have an incredibly picky eater so should I bring pizza for him?” Half-joking.
I get “yes, LOL.”
I know by now that apples, honey and SWEETNESS are of utmost importance to this holiday. Since time and money factor into most gift decisions I make, I pick up some Honeycrisp apples - thinking I can hit two things, honey and apples! I also bring a challah bread cover from Jboutiq hoping they don't already have one (they didn’t and she loved it). Oh yah, I also had two half-full bottles of wine- one rose + one sauvignon blanc. Friends don't judge, they drink!
We arrive and I see this amazing display of homemade food- I'm talking HOMEMADE CHALLAH bread- that is so beautiful. I am truly impressed and it's a feast. She tells me that after I had texted her last week she got to thinking and decided they would do something for the holiday. Then once she started cooking she really got into it-seriously, she had never made challah before. I think it's like that no matter what the holiday. You are kind of dread the whole shebang until you get started an all of a sudden the fever hits. That feeling is what makes holidays so special. That and wine.
My picky eater tries everything. He goes back for thirds on the challah. Brisket is perfect. Her husband’s last minute trip to the store for some Montepulciano well worth it (goes v well with brisket). The crowd humors my buzzed over-sharing. The apple gallette is the absolute perfect combination of sweetly cooked apples on a crispy crust with a hint of glazed sugar. Most special was the opening to the dinner, the prayer over the challah bread that her 8 year old daughter sang. I had never seen or heard this so it really was a special experience for us. I'm hoping whatever God/s are up there I can get their blessing too (blessed by association?).
At one point I say “This is so wonderful- so how could you have said you were bad Jews?”
Well, she tells me they hadn't gone to congregation over the holiday, they didn't do all the prayers and the food wasn't kosher. I let her know about my theory which is that holidays are what you make them-and what your kids remember. If they are stressful and negative no one looks forward to them year after year. So this was perfect. Do it as it works for you, your friends and your family. To me they were fabulous Jews. Great food, no judgement on open wine or picky eaters, inclusion of people with a different faith and the spirit of their holiday. I experienced someone's religious celebration and I believe we became better people for that. As we walked home I thanked him for being a good 11 year old at a dinner party and he said he was really glad he got to have that experience. Thank you neighbors!

L'Shana Tova






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