Rosh Hashanah: A New Year for New Beginnings

Happy New Year! During the fall sometime, Jewish people all over the world celebrate their New Years on a holiday called Rosh Hashanah. On the Jewish Calendar, Rosh Hashanah is on the first and second days of Tishrei. Tishrei is the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. On the lunar calendar, this year, it falls on the evening of September 16th, 2012.
This period, the Days of Awe, is so important that preparations for it begin in the preceding month of Elul, when it is customary to blow the shofar during weekly services in synagogue. The shofar is designed to stir the heart of every Jew to repentance and toward a closer relationship with God. It is considered a great honor to blow the shofar. As the month of Elul draws to an end, there is a special Selichot (forgiveness) service on the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah when the congregation recites a series of important prayers.
Here is a list of important items you need for Rosh Hashanah: Candlesticks and candles, wine and decanter, wine cups, 2 round challahs, challah cover, a holiday bread knife, cut apples, a dish of honey and flowers. Rosh Hashanah is welcomed by the lighting of two candles, for which the mother recites two special blessings. Then the father says the kiddush and a special blessing over the wine. Then the motzi is made on the 2 round challah. During the meal apples are dipped in honey to symbolize having a sweet new year.

New Years is a time for new beginnings. During Rosh Hashanah six years ago, I began the process of conversion to Judaism. Four years ago this season, I began the process to become a Bat Mitzvah..a women of the Torah. And four years ago during this season, our whole family went gluten free. Oh and don’t forget almost 2 years ago, thanks to my gluten free lifestyle, I regained my fertility and was blessed with a little Charli.  I don’t think I would have begun this process if it was not for giving up gluten. Gluten acted like a drug in my body, did not allow me to have the kind of relationship I wanted to have with God. I was in a brain fog. I am grateful every day for the clarity I feel on a gluten free diet. Make this your year for new beginnings. Do something for yourself, for your body that will allow you to become a better you.
Here is what I am doing for me this year. I am putting my blogsite on hold. My last article will be sent out on Yom Kipper. I have decided that I need to focus my energies on other things. I have a 22 month old that needs my attention. I have a 12 year old that is having her Bat Mitzvah this Jewish calendar year. And I have a High Schooler…need I say more. I also got a part time job teaching Hebrew at our Temple. I also hope that in a couple of years you will find my cookbook in your local bookstore! And my body, because I do listen to it, is telling me that I need to focus more on me. It is giving me little indications that I have been neglecting taking care of myself, and that is not a good thing. I need to be healthy to care for my husband and beautiful girls. So I am saying good-bye for now….La’Shana Tova
Apple Crisp*
6 medium or 4 large gala apples, cut and peeled
1/3 cup gluten free oats
1/3 cup cranberries
2 T lemon juice
2 T agave
2 T arrowroot
2 T butter
4 gluten free graham crackers, crumbled
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cut apples into thin slices and lay in a pie dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
In a small bowl combined oats, cranberries, lemon juice, butter, agave, arrowroot and crumbled graham crackers.
Sprinkle on top of apples.
Bake covered for 30 minutes.
Bake uncovered for an additional 30 minutes.
Serve with frozen yogurt.

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