Wednesday, October 02, 2019

When Life Hands You Gourds | A New Year Wish

As we've done for the last few years, Shira and I returned to Homestead Farm to pick apples for Rosh Hashanah. Homestead continues to impress: they promised a diverse variety of apples, and delivered in terms of both quality and quantity. As we were walking to the checkout area I noticed a table full of ugly distinct looking gourds. Having a vague recollection that gourds, like apples, were a symbolic food eaten on Rosh Hashanah I bought a few.

When I got home and Googled the topic, my memory was confirmed:

Everybody knows about dipping apples in honey to celebrate Rosh Hashanah for a “sweet” year. But in the Syrian tradition, we have an entire seder before the meal. There are actually many symbolic foods we make blessings on for the Jewish New Year.

In one of these prayers, we ask God to tear up any enemies’ decrees against the Jewish people. The Hebrew word for gourd, kara, resembles the word karaa, which means to rip. Before eating the gourd, we say, “May it be your will, Adonai, our God, God of our forefathers, that You tear up the evil edict of our judgment and may our merits be declared before you.”

Instead of eating the gourds, we opted to have kids decorate them. All it took was some hot glue, googly eyes and a healthy does of glitter glue and the kids turned the haphazard collection of fruit into an adorable family:

And so this is my wish for you in the upcoming year: not only should the evil decree be torn up, but when life hands you something ugly, you should rally together with friends and family to make something beautiful out of it!

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