Preparations on the Eve of 5770
I baked six (6) round challot*, whole-wheat, two with raisins. The custom for Rosh Hashana is to use round challot as opposed to braided, as 'round' is a symbol of the circle of life, and on Rosh Hashana we review our deeds from the past year, atoning for our sins, and ask for forgiveness. It is also, according to Jewish tradition, the day of the creation of Adam ha-rishon, the first man. We believe that G-d judges us on this day, which is why one of the names (Hebrew) of this auspicious day, is Yom ha-Din, or 'Day of Judgement.' The name of the holiday in the Torah, is "Yom Teru'ah," or The Day of the Blowing of the Shofar, which alerts the people to review their ways, and if need be, repent.
My husband was cooking for hours earlier, and tomorrow we both will be, but this year the burden is divided by three because of the other two families: my friend baked two potato kugels* and one carrot kugel tonight, and tomorrow she is returning in the a.m. to work on honey cakes, and I don't even remember what else, I'm so tired.
My husband made the fish (trout) for the first course, as well as for the "Ye'he ratzon*" custom we follow, where we use various foods with double-entendre names which 'sound like' words we use to ask G-d to protect us from our enemies (I'm trying to be politically correct here), and to give us the blessing to be 'fruitful and multiply.'
But you can read the whole thing for yourselves, at his blog, The Kosher Kook (www.kosherkook.blogspot.com), because I'm tired--it's after midnight, and I have to be up early to continue preparing for the chag.
So at this point I wish all my readers (all 3.5 of you) a blessing for a good, healthy, productive and happy New Year: may you all be written and sealed in the book of life, or as we say in Hebrew, "ktivah ve-chatimah tovah."
*seudah: festive meal
*Rosh Hashana: literally, the 'head of the year,' or the Jewish New Year
*challot: plural of 'challah,' the braided loaf traditionally used on Sabbaths and holidays; only this time it's round.
*kugel: Jewish casserole
*Yehe ratzon: lit., "may it be Your will (oh Lord)..."