10 Alternate Blessings For Rosh Hashanah Dinner
When I was 18, I visited my grandparents in Israel for Rosh Hashanah. Many of their traditions were new to me – some good (honey on everything), some not as good (homemade gefilte fish balls you weren’t allowed to turn down).
The author with her grandparents
One tradition stuck with me years after my visit and it’s enhanced my Jewish High Holidays experiences ever since. In addition to the regular blessings over special food, like the head of a fish to be like a leader or the apple and honey for a sweet new year, they would pick random foods and create their own blessings, cleverly tying them into the food in some way.
For example, they would eat a piece of mango so we would be victorious against our enemies. I can’t quite recall the clever connection there but I trusted them. It had something to do with a pasuk (verse) in Tehillim.
I love creating and I love food so this was the perfect tradition for me to adapt.
Here are some of my blessing inventions for Rosh Hashanah 2017/5778:
1.) Dates. May this year be filled with lots of sweet and juicy dates. Preferably with one person. So just the one date. Just eat one.
2.) Starfruit. For anyone who knows me, this needs no explanation. May I finally get my star on the walk of fame.
3.) Strawberry jam. May this year be filled with lots of jam sessions and oh so many dance breaks. May we remember to take time to play.
4.) A grain of salt. May we not take things so seriously or personally. May we chill.
5.) A hot dog with the works. May we relish every moment as it happens, live presently and with mindfulness.
6.) Raspberry jelly (different from the above jam). May we not be jealous or “jelly” over anyone else’s success but focus on our own accomplishments and know we all have our own path.
7.) Half a Kit-Kat. May we share what we’ve got and spread joy by giving to others.
8.) Bananas. May the above sweet and juicy date be completely bananas over us.
9.) Chili. May this year never get too cold. Just the right amount of chilly.
10.) Ice cream cake. May this year be filled with lots of ice cream cake. Because, duh.
What are some of your blessings for the New Year?
Leah Gottfried is an award winning director, writer, producer and actor, and founder of the production company Dignity Entertainment. She is the creator of the hit comedic web series Soon By You, which centers on young Orthodox Jews dating in NYC and currently has four episodes on YouTube. Her short film “The Setup” won Best Short Film at the Washington Jewish Film Festival 2016 and has screened in numerous film festivals all around the world.