The Jewish New Year

by singlemomseeking on September 19, 2009

It’s ironic: after all that those months I spent off and on JDate, I’m dating a non-Jew.

“I sure spent a lot of time and money on that site,” I’ve sighed, teasing that Lucky Guy.

That’s when he insists that I can call him Isaac if it makes me feel better. Seriously, I feel grateful that my guy is so open-minded about people and culture — and he’s such a good sport. Last night, he joined us to bring in the Jewish New Year with family and friends, our first-ever Jewish holiday together.

When LG first asked me this week, “Remind me what Rosh Hashanah is,” I was proud of myself for being able define the holiday:

According to the Jewish calendar, the year is 5770. Every fall, we bring in the New Year by dipping apples in honey and eating challah bread that’s shaped in a circle.

apples-in-honey-rosh-hashanah

I recited these details after picking LG up at the airport — he’d been in Denver for work — and that’s when I remembered: “Oh, we’d better stop and get some wine to bring to dinner!”

“And I think it should kosher,” I added.

“Are you sure?” he said. “Why does it have to be kosher? And isn’t there only one kind? Manischewitz.”

He made a face: “And isn’t it really sweet?”


Wine Kosher

He had me: I wanted to spout some intellectual explanation about kosher vs. non-kosher wines. That would have impressed him. But I didn’t have a clue. Clearly, I had some research to do.

First, I called my Dad and asked him about kosher wine. But he wasn’t so sure about the answer, either. So, I put the word out on Facebook — and got more than an earful from friends, such as the very helpful Richard at Israeli Wine.

As my friend, Julia, put it: “Look what happens when you ask a bunch a Jews for their opinions: You get never ending commentary :) ”When do you need to drink kosher wine?… Aaahh!!”

So, last night, we brought one bottle of each. But in the end, no one at our dinner gave much thought to the kind of wine we drank. They just wanted to check out the new sweet boyfriend. And boy, did they.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

BigLittleWolf September 19, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Well a good man is hard to find, whatever his cultural background! And hopefully, he got high marks for his taste in wine – and women. Jewish families love nothing more than to see their children appreciated. Come to think of it, that’s ALL families! L’shana tova.
.-= BigLittleWolf´s last blog ..Sultry Saturday night… his or mine? =-.

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singlemomseeking September 19, 2009 at 5:46 pm

@BigLIttleWolf. Oh, yes, Jewish families DO love to see their children happy, don’t they?

@Nicki, wow, you know the word “beshert”!! That word has always cracked me up. It sounds like an appetizer you’d order from a foreign menu — “I’ll start with the beshert, please.”

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Nicki September 19, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Hey, we gentiles need love, too! So glad that he fit in for the holiday. Now the question is…are you two beshert? That is, by far, my favorite Yiddish word. (Years of working with not-so-kosher Jews has left me with an admirable working vocabulary. And man, can they make some good ham!)

Enjoy finding the answer to that question.
.-= Nicki´s last blog ..Training a puppy-cow… =-.

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Priscilla San Remo September 19, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Too funny! When I was married, I was referred to (affectionately) as The Shiksa Who Came to Dinner. Ironically, I became the one to make the matzo kugel, know the blessings in Hebrew, and explain the meanings of the various holidays to our son. Even though Judaism is technically matrilineal, my child considers himself a Jew–probably because there is nothing compelling about his mother’s rejected Irish Catholic heritage and much more to his father’s mother’s history as a Holocaust survivor. He is planning to do a Birth Right trip some time in the next year or two.

The best Manischewitz ad I ever saw was in a tiny local wine store one spring about 15 years ago. There, amidst all the “Wine Spectator” ratings and commercial serving suggestions was this homemade gem: “Manischewitz–a nice little kosher wine. Goes great with Easter ham.”

See, even the wine boutiques promote inter-religious relationships! L’chaim!

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singlemomseeking September 19, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Wow, @Priscilla, I’m fascinated by your comment.

Here’s why:
My mom is Irish Catholic, and after an intense Catholic upbringing, she stopped going to church — and soon met my Jewish father. When they were married, my mom was the one who made the kugel, knew the blessings… and essentially I was raised Jewish. After learning about the Holocaust history on my father’s side of the family, I also felt a very deep connection.

Keep me in touch about your son! (Loved the wine ad. Ha ha.)

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Lovebabz September 20, 2009 at 5:03 am

Shanah Tovah!
One of my Kids God parents is jewish. Although we are Congregationalist (UCC) My children go to synagogue quite often with some of our jewish friends. We sit Shabot, and seders and all that and sing songs and celebrate Purim. Besides I live in a neighborhood with a lot of Orthodox and Reformed Jews and everyone is always inviting us and sending baked goods over! There are lots of Kosher wines out there! Not just Manischewitz. LOL!
.-= Lovebabz´s last blog ..THE RESTORATIVE POWER OF A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP =-.

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GLSD September 20, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Living in NY as a child we always had Manischewitz Grape for our dinner parties! So happy for you that LG is so open-minded about people and culture!! That’s great! Wishing you and LG only the best!

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T September 20, 2009 at 6:40 pm

I know next to nothing about the Jewish faith and I am endlessly fascinated to learn more. I love gaining understanding of all faiths.

However, what I’m REALLY dying to hear is how everyone responded to the new boyfriend!!

:)
.-= T´s last blog ..Ode to the Single Parent =-.

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singlemomseeking September 21, 2009 at 9:52 am

@T: Everyone was VERY curious about the boyfriend.

My dad has already met him… and they hit it off big time. The family friends wanted to know all the stats: “So, how long have you been dating?” and “How did you two meet?”

And, of course: “What do you do for a living?”

He was a bit shy — understandably — but they all told me later, “He’s SO sweet! We’re so happy for you!”

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Nicole September 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm

My little one’s dad is Jewish, so I called a truce and he came over for dinner to celebrate the holiday with her. He did the same thing with the apple. He couldn’t tell me the significance of it, so I will ask you. Why dip the apple in honey.
.-= Nicole ´s last blog ..Dear God =-.

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singlemomseeking September 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Good for you for compromising Nicole. Bravo!

And great question re: dipping the apples in honey. Here’s the short answer: it’s a symbolic way to bring sweetness into the New Year.

It’s one of my favorite traditions. Did your son enjoy it?

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MindyMom/Single Mom Says... September 22, 2009 at 11:04 am

I agree that finding a great guy is hard enough without throwing in religious backgrounds! It’s great that you BOTH are open and accepting of each other’s differences. Glad your family and friends are as well. Things are looking good, girl!
.-= MindyMom/Single Mom Says…´s last blog ..Decisions, Decisions =-.

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