Happy 5766!

October 4, 2005 | 18 comments
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Today is Rosh Hashanah, and everyone here at Times and Seasons wishes a happy new year to our Jewish friends. (Here are a few Jewish-themed posts from the past.) If there’s a synagogue here in Macomb, IL, I’m unaware of it, so there will be cultural dimension missing from our family celebrations tonight. Still, Melissa will make her chicken soup and challah bread, and we’ll share stories from the Old Testament with our children. I hope everyone reading this, both Jew and Gentile (and Mormon), does the same. Shana Tova, everyone!

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18 Responses to Happy 5766!

  1. Wilfried on October 4, 2005 at 1:31 pm

    Todah Rabah, Russell! L’Shana Tovah Teekatayvu.

  2. Kevin Barney on October 4, 2005 at 1:42 pm

    A funny story about Rosh Hashanah. On my mission to Colorado in the late 70s, my companion and I attended a Rosh Hashanah service. I enjoyed it a great deal. I was trying to teach myself some Hebrew at the time, and so it was fun for me to follow along in the book. This was a congregation that fell somewhere between reform and conservative. Very bright, very cheery, very family oriented.

    So fast forward about five years later. I’m married and attending law school at the Univ. of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. Reflecting on my enjoyable experience, I suggest to my wife and several other couples from church that we go attend Yom Kippur services. So we did.

    Now, I enjoyed this too, as an educational experience. But I was pretty clueless about the difference in tone between Yom Kippur (very somber) and Rosh Hashana. Also, this was an orthodox service, so we were separated from our spouses. And the service was long with lots of standing, and several of our wives were very pregnant at the time. So it probably wasn’t as much fun for my friends as I had advertised.

    But I’m still glad that I went.

  3. Rosalynde on October 4, 2005 at 1:42 pm

    Russell, you couldn’t get Melissa to post her recipes, could you? I didn’t get the beans put on this morning, so it’s time to start on Plan B…

  4. Don on October 4, 2005 at 2:08 pm

    Russell,
    I think most of the rest of your family will be celebrating with chicken Tacos since I don’t think they have the receipes for chicken soup and challah bread.

    Knowing you, you’re the one who really will make this a meaningful, learning experience for your family…we should all take your example.

  5. Russell Arben Fox on October 4, 2005 at 2:41 pm

    I’ll e-mail her, Rosalynde, and see if she can’t get it up in time for you tonight.

  6. Melissa Madsen Fox on October 4, 2005 at 2:43 pm

    Rosyalynde –
    Challah isn’t quick, but is sooo yummy. I know it’s supposed to be for Shabbot but, since we’re not really Jewish, once a year on Rosh Hashanah is doing pretty well, I think. This recipe makes two loaves, and I have halved it (mostly successfully) in the past.

    2 packages active dry yeast
    1 1/2 cups warm water
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 tablespoons honey
    5 1/2 cups flour
    4 tablespoons butter, softened
    3 eggs

    In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the water and let stand until bubbly. Stir in salt and honey. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and beat until dough is elastic and pulls away from sides of bowl.

    Beat in butter, then add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in about 2 1/2 cups more flour, about 1 cup at a time, to make a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Place dough in greased bowl; turn over to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.

    Punch down dough and divide in half. Divide each half into three equal pieces and roll each piece into a rope about 14 inches long. Pinch tops of each group of three ropes together, braid to make a loaf, then pinch ends together. Place braided loaves several inches apart on a large greased baking sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 30 mintues.

    In a small bowl, beat an egg with water. Brush mixture lightly over each loaf, then sprinkle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons of poppy seeds. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until loaves are well browned and sound hollow when tapped.

    Enjoy.

    The soup is just a standard, do what you want, homemade chicken noodle thing. Nothing fancy. I did try matzoh balls one year, but the girls (and the adults, to be fair) thought they were gross. If anyone has a good recipe for latkahs I’d love to have it (though I doubt that my kids will want to try potato pankes wtih applesauce), since I have yet to bother my half-Jewis sister in law for one.

  7. Melissa Madsen Fox on October 4, 2005 at 2:44 pm

    Good thing I dropped by, eh, Russell? :)

  8. Russell Arben Fox on October 4, 2005 at 3:02 pm

    Well, if you’d check our e-mail once in a while….

    (or, conversely, if we could only afford DSL and thus not interrupt our phone connection for an average of five hours a day…)

  9. Rosalynde on October 4, 2005 at 3:22 pm

    Mmmmm, Melissa, that challah sounds delicious! If I can get my 2-yo to settle for his nap, I’ll get started. And the latkes sound good to me today, too—maybe I’ll just pick up any old recipe from allrecipes; not as good as your s-i-l’s, for sure, but better than nothing.

    Thanks again!

  10. Rosalynde on October 4, 2005 at 3:25 pm

    About DSL: my husband’s salary as a medical resident is laughably incomensurate with the hours he puts in, BUT his program provides a generous yearly fund with which he can buy (approved) educational materials. DSL is on the list, and after years of dial-up, it really sweetens that paystub.

  11. Ashley on October 4, 2005 at 4:17 pm

    Last night for FHE, we celebrated Rosh Hashanah with our kids–I found several great websites with activity ideas like making aluminum foil shofars (a big hit). This one also spells out several ways Rosh Hashanah can be significant for Christians too: http://www.netglimse.com/holidays/rosh_hashanah/history_of_rosh_hashanah.shtml

    The children loved the idea that as they were dipping their challah bread and apple slices in honey, people all over the world were doing the same thing.

  12. MDS on October 4, 2005 at 5:08 pm

    All the smarties on this site probably know this already, but for those who don’t it should be pointed out that there are some fun and interesting connections between Rosh Hashanah and the Book of Mormon. For an example, check out Lenet Hadley Read’s , “The Golden Plates and the Feast of Trumpets,” Ensign, Jan. 2000, 25

  13. Melissa Madsen Fox on October 4, 2005 at 5:19 pm

    I did some snooping, and found this one. I figure Mandy Patinkin’s mom’s latkes (so that’s how you spell it) can’t be all that bad.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_7315,00.html

    Maybe I’ll half the recipe and give them a try.

  14. Chad too on October 4, 2005 at 5:27 pm

    Here’s the latkes recipe I used last night. Surprisingly easy and good. Whipped up in a blender then drained through a sieve. I added more water to the blender to get things well pureed, knwoing that the water would drain off at the end. Served with both sour cream and applesauce.

    http://www.shalomboston.com/recipe.php?recipe_name=Potato_Latkes

  15. Jack Sprat on October 5, 2005 at 9:58 am

    What Russell, not going to fast for Ramadan? Why the pro-Jewish holiday celebration and no nod to your Muslim brothers and sisters?

  16. Russell Arben Fox on October 5, 2005 at 10:42 am

    I can’t say definitively, Jack. Part of it is that I simply have a greater degree of theological respect for the place and purpose of Judaism in this world, and consequently am more willing to credit and honor their calendrical and ritual celebrations than I am those of other non-Christian faiths. (I won’t pretend my reasoning here is wholly defensible, but I do try to lay out some of my thoughts in this post.) But part of it is also simply that I and my family value holidays, and we celebrate as many as we can plausibly associate ourselves with. Jewish holidays are a stretch for us, though not as much as Ramadan would be. I don’t want to be exclusive, though. If the opportunity presented itself, and we had those experiences which would lead us to feel comfortable with it, I suppose I could see us trying to honor Ramandan in some fashion or another in our home. I mean, we celebrate King Kamehameha Day too, even though we’ve only spent about a month total in Hawai’i.

  17. Rosalynde on October 5, 2005 at 2:49 pm

    Well, Jack never did go down for his nap, so I didn’t get the challah made. But I did put together a good soup and the latkes—very tasty, served with sour cream and apple sauce and (Jewish mothers everywhere turn in their graves) maple syrup.

    Say, Melissa, what’s on the menu tonight?

  18. Melissa Madsen Fox on October 5, 2005 at 7:50 pm

    Hmmm, maple syrup, huh? I preferred the sour cream with the latkes, personally. Our batch turned out pretty good, too.

    Tonight it was croque monseiur (can’t spell that), essentially ham-and-swiss cheese sandwiches. Tomorrow, if you’re curious, I think I might attempt a shrimp scampi and pasta thing. But I have no idea how that will go over with the girls!