Please don’t let this deter you from reading on, but I (pause) am Jewish. Yes, I am a member of The Tribe. And this evening marks our New Year, 5772 to be exact. If you are not a member of The Tribe, then I regret to inform you that this is not your New Year. You have no excuse to reinvent yourself, unless you feel so inclined. You have no reason to re-promise unfulfilled resolutions, unless you feel so inclined. And you have no reason to wear sequins, drink champagne, or stand in the middle of Time Square, unless of course.. you feel so inclined. Alas, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, so do not despair… there is a good chance that you WILL be invited to go to a Jewish dinner and, unless you want to bear the wrath of Jewish Mother Guilt, you should feel so inclined.
Rosh Hashana, the New Year, is frequently refered to as the Jewish “Day of Judgement” or “Day of Remembrance.” We pass before God, and he/she/shim evaluates us based on our deeds. If you are not a Tribe Member, than I guess you are omitted from this obligation, but I am definitely feeling the pressure! I’m not entirely sure what kind of “deeds,” per se, I performed throughout the year, but, in order to make up for my lacking thereof, I decided to bake a Challah bread to sway the scale. Challah is sweet for a “sweet” New Year, Challah is the Holiest of baked goods, and Challah feeds the Jews! That has to be a Top 10 “Act of Humanity,” right? You can’t let a Jew go hungry… Neesh Keet (yiddish: Not Good).
Needless to say, my contribution as a Tribe member this year was quite noteworthy. While I am a frequent baker, these past several hours of mixing, kneading, waiting, punching, braiding, and washing had me feeling a bit like Sybil. Baking always asks that you treat your dough either roughly or gently, but, Holy Challah, this bread likes it ALL! I’m surprised no one recommended that I yell at the dough to make it rise even more!
I do have to say that, once the deed was done, I felt proud and satisfied. Proud that, although I thought I totally botched it from the Get-Go, I persisted and saw my project through. Satisfied in that I added to my list of Firsts for the year, and successfully made a beautiful and (hopefully) sweet Challah bread. If you, too, want to add this to your list of accomplishments, please feel free to check out my Recipe Book for a little guidance.
Happy New Year Tribe Members and Non-Tribe Members! To another year of persistence, satisfaction, and, full bellies 🙂