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Rosh HaShanah 5783

Rosh HaShanah 5783

My mom loved to entertain so after she passed I took over hosting Rosh HaShanah dinner.  I used her holiday china, crystal, and silver to set the table and it made me feel like she’s still here.

Marlene Riceberg holiday table set in the 1970's

Mom's table circa 1980


As I prepared my first holiday dinner after she passed, I was hit with a wave of emotions: anger, hurt, frustration, sadness.  I had an epiphany.

Disruption causes pain.  It’s the sudden change in routine that we can’t handle. It’s uncomfortable when we lose control.  Damn psychopomps, ego, and time! What right do they have to interfere with our lives?  It doesn’t matter if it’s death, a broken heart, or a child going off to college, loss is loss. 

So, I decided that while I was honoring my mom’s memory by doing what she did for the holiday, I needed to change it up. I needed to create a new tradition that was mine.

Since I don’t believe in going through the motions, like dipping apples in honey, I created a socially interactive honey-apple pairing station in my kitchen. Guests can schmooze while I cook and stand around the table grazing on four varietals of honey and four of apple. They can sample sweet apple with tart honey or sweet on sweet. I always try to find apples that no one has heard of like Zestar or Piñata.

Kitchen table set with honey, apples, and crudite.

I turned an obligation into an experience. It’s amazing how a little tweak to routine has the power to make something better.

As we enter this new year, with its promise of light and healing, realize that t’s a time to sit with the pain and to dream of new possibilities.  

Blessing you with a happy year without hurt or sorrow.  May it be a year where what you want is what you need and let it be filled with purpose, joy, and good health for you and loved ones.  

P.S. I highly recommend going to a service this holiday.  You are going to learn something and be given tools to improve your life.

Also, you never know when you’re going to need a Rabbi.  
Trust me.  
You’ll want one as your friend.

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