confessions of a modern mom

Shana Tova! Happy New Year!

I can’t believe how quickly the summer flew by and disappeared. This morning, I stepped outside and nearly froze to death! Literally overnight, the weather has changed. Whereas yesterday, the morning was sticky and humid, today the air is crisp and cold.

For Jewish people around the world, the New Year began yesterday. It seems pretty apropos, as schools swing back into action and the temperature drops. For my family, it has been two days of celebrations and eating! On Wednesday night, as the sun set, we gathered together with the hubby’s family to eat apples and challah with honey (to signify a sweet year ahead) followed by a delicious meal. Yesterday, we went to temple to hear the story of Isaac and the blowing of the shofar (a ram’s horn) which is supposed to be a wake up call to prepare everyone for the upcoming “Days of Awe” when we repent for our sins.

When we got back home, we invited friends over for Tashlich on our lake. This is a ceremony where you cast away your sins in order to start the new year with a clean slate. We all wrote down our sins from the past year, walked down to the lake and threw them in the water. My friend’s son asked me why we throw the paper in the lake. My response was: we write down our sins and throw them in the lake. The water then breaks down the paper and it eventually disappears, just as our sins are erased. The fact that the fish in our lake came up and tried to eat the pieces of paper was pretty hilarious, but helped break down our sins much faster! There’s something to be said about writing things down and throwing them away. It is symbolic, but actually forces you to sit and think about your actions and try to start anew and work on not repeating those mistakes as often in the new year. I think this is a great exercise for anyone to try – if you don’t have a body of water close to you, try burning the paper. It works in a similar way psychologically.

Last night, we drove out to Long Island to celebrate the holiday (and my cousin’s birthday – HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEB!!!!!!!) with my family. It’s always so wonderful to get together with family, especially on happy occasions and when the food is DELICIOUS! This year was made even more special since my parents are here from Israel and we ring in the new year together. It’s not often that we all get together…

This morning, I ran through the chilly grass to check on our vegetable garden.  My father single-handedly built an incredible raised vegetable garden for us. On Saturday, we planted our fall crops.We transplanted herbs (oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary, parsley, chives and mint) but sowed seeds for onion, green onion, lettuce, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, peas and dill. It has been exciting to watch them grow each day.

Day 1

Day 3

Day 5 (Today)

So, I would like to extend my best wishes (whether you are Jewish or not) for a happy and healthy new year. May it be as fruitful as the sprouts in this garden.

Shana Tova.

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