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who wrote the book of li-ife?
Rosh Hashana dinner tonight at Mia's house. A saturday trip to St. Jacob's market (with the old-skool mennonites) ended in a surplus of beets. (and eggplant and peppers and oy vey so many apples).

Last night we grilled all the vegetables on the barbecue, under the stars on a warm indian summer night. I made a squash/pepper/goat cheese pasta and a smoky babaganouj. I roasted a few beets, too, and tonight I will make them into a salad with green beans. I asked Mia if that salad suits her taste:

"Beet salad sounds wonderful. I love beets and never make them. Also, beets have a special Rosh Hashana symbolism: in Hebrew it's "selek," people say "sheyesalku oyveinu" our enemies shall beat it--not so appropriate for our crowd, but we can morph it to something more politically progressive."

Turns out that green beans are also symbolic:
This vegetable is called "Rubiyah," from the Hebrew word "to increase." We recite, "May our merits increase.

She has promised lots of different and symbolic foods for dinner tonight, including pomegranate and the round challah, etc.

It's that time of year - attumn feels like the true new year - where the book of life gets written and sealed, along with our fates. And if you don't believe in that literally, than perhaps regard it symbolically: it is a time of year to think of all of our actions, habits, and values, and how they affect our fates, and the fates of other humans.

And I am not, as an adult, a synagogue-going jew, and I even skipped it altogether last year. But this year I think I will go. As much as I get agitated with all the ersatz piety or gossip or social anxiety of the event, there is always something in the liturgy that catches me off guard with its relevance.
"How many shall pass away and how many shall be born,
Who shall live and who shall die,
Who shall reach the end of his days and who shall not,
Who shall perish by water and who by fire,
"who will die in his appointed time and who will die before his appointed time...."

And then the more spiritaul tack:
"Who shall have rest and who shall wander,
Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued,
Who shall be at rest and who shall be tormented,
Who shall be exalted and who shall be brought low."

I am often struck by the word lovingkindness. The way it is all one word.

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10.3.2005
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post #1077
bio: adina
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10/3/2005
14:24

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