Posted at 3:15 pm , on September 14, 2018
Shabbat is the Jewish Sabbath. It begins every Friday at sundown and lasts until sundown on Saturday. It is the central observance in Judaism and although there are weekly services in the the synagogue, it is first and foremost a family celebration. In traditional homes, work concludes early so the house can be cleaned and a special dinner prepared. No work is performed on Shabbat; just as God rested after six days of creating heaven and earth, we take time off to rest and enjoy family.
Posted at 10:36 am , on September 13, 2018
After morning prayers and pages and a cuppa, I took the pup on a slow walk contemplating my New Year Intentions of daily practices of prayer and exercise. Praying is easy when you need something from God, but it takes a bit more work when all is good. That is the time to send prayers of thanksgiving. I like to think of it as “putting prayers in the bank.”
Posted at 8:56 pm , on September 12, 2018
On my way home I caught this amazing sunset over the marina. My instant reaction was “God is Good.” That has been a running verse in my mind the past few weeks as so many of my prayers have been answered.
I’ve been mulling over “Intentions” for the New Year. Setting “Intentions” is similar to setting resolutions but, in my mind, less intimidating. Perhaps it’s just semantics. I prefer the softer feel of “intending” rather than “resolving.” I’m trying to be kinder to myself lately; not cramming so much into a day, reserving time for “me” things like writing and walking and reading, and allowing myself to simply “Be” with my Beloved. So I’m going to be gentle and set “Intentions” for 5779.
Posted at 10:30 pm , on September 11, 2018
Rosh Hashanah is full of symbols and customs and like most of Judaism, there isn’t any “correct” way to observe the holiday. It is a happy holiday, a celebration of the New Year and God’s desire for the world to continue to exist. I’m a Reform Jew, so my observance is fairly liberal, as compared to the Orthodox and Conservative movements.
There are a few customs that are celebrated universally: listening to the blast of the shofar, reciting “avinu malkeinu” and attending services, lighting candles and enjoying a festive meal featuring apples and honey. Thanks to the internet and the world wide web I did all of these yesterday, with the exception of visiting a synagogue. While laying in the hammock I watched a video of the sounding of the shofars (ram’s horn) across Jerusalem and listened to a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Barbra Streisand’s “Avinu Malkeinu.”
Posted at 11:00 am , on September 11, 2018
Braised Lamb Shanks, Smashed Potatoes with Gravy, Roasted Garlic Heads, Herb Salad and Apple Challah Pudding with Rum Sauce
Oh my goodness … this was one delicious dinner! It does require a whole lot of chopping and measuring preparation and then a long time in the oven, but the results are melt-in-your mouth amazing. The lamb is extraordinarily mild and tender, pairing well with the crisp and tart salad. The nuttiness of the roasted garlic complemented the yukon gold potatoes perfectly. And the dessert … by far the best I have ever created! I love the texture of challah in bread pudding and the carmel sauce was indescribable … rich and thick and sweet and could be eaten on it’s own with a spoon.
Posted at 5:26 pm , on September 10, 2018
Today is Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the Jewish New Year. It began Sun., Sept. 9th, 2018, at sundown and ends on Tues., Sept. 11th at sundown. This is the first year since I converted in 1994 that I am not attending a service at a synagogue. Hubby and I took a mini-vacay during this time because the dates fit our schedules. We both really needed a get-away from everyday life so we traded the tranquility of the marina for the Anderson Valley vineyards.