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Not Your Typical Tish-Recipe
By Carly Abramson, ISJL Education Fellow
Before you start cooking, especially if you are a beginner like myself, an incredible dish cannot just come out of thin air—it takes preparation. First, you must find a recipe, gather the ingredients, wash your hands, and only then are you ready to begin cooking truly.
Consider the month of Elul as our prep time before we get to the main enchilada, also known as Tish'rei. During Elul, we are introspective, which allows us to sift through all the ingredients from our past selves, and decide which ones will create an even better version of ourselves in the upcoming year. Now that we have our recipe ready and our hands are washed, we can start adding our ingredients into the month of Tish'rei. Here are nine ways to whip up a fresh new year!
Step One: Set the Mood
During the month of Tish'rei, we accept that a lot of our time is spent sitting in services. But before we settle into our seats this year, let’s set the mood off right and rediscover the power of Jewish music. Music can make us feel more spiritual and connected, so take a chance and explore a new melody to a prayer. Find a tune that moves you and share it with your community, all it takes is one voice to make a change!
Step Two: Double the Recipe
Tish'rei is jam-packed with holidays, so in the midst of all the holiday prepping keep in mind that some of our neighbors may not be able to attend services, eat pizza under a sukkah, or dance around the Torah. Let’s “double our recipe” this year and set out time to bring a little taste of the holiday to those that are unable to celebrate.
Step Three: Rinse and Repeat
Sim’chat Torah is right around the corner, and you know what that means… we have come to the end of the Torah, and we are about to start all over again! We have done this tradition for centuries, but haven’t you ever wondered how Torah scrolls are made? Take this holiday as an opportunity to find a scribe near you and see how the pros do it!
Step Four: Mix in Fresh Ingredients
With the holiday season, comes an underlining expectation that there will be good food. If you consider yourself a chef, you have my permission to jump ahead to step 5, but for those of you who relate to me let’s exceed the expectation and learn how to make great food! Check out myjewishlearning.com and select the ‘Eat’ tab, there you will find a list of step-by-step Jewish holiday recipes.
Step Five: Add a Pinch of Spice
With all of the Holidays that are happening this month, have you ever considered spicing things up with a Jewish ritual you haven’t done before? For instance, if you have never slept under a Sukkah, perhaps this is the year you try something new!
Step Six: Let it Rise
The best way to feel like a part of something is to be a part of something. During a service you attend this month try something different, get into it... literally! Maybe that means carrying the Torah during the hakafah, or volunteering to give an aliyah. Put yourself out there and “rise” to the occasion!
Step Seven: Preheat Oven
Before you celebrate the upcoming holidays, try to learn something new about them because it is common for us to celebrate a holiday out of habit instead of intention. You can’t just put something in the oven without letting it preheat first. It can be easy to forget the significance of a holiday after you’ve been celebrating it the same way for years, so let’s give the new year a new meaning!
Step Eight: Bake at 110 Degrees
Lucky for us the sun loves the South! With that in mind, why not get out there and change up the venue for your holiday celebration? If you want to get outside for something other than tash’lich, try having a text study outdoors, or a service, or maybe even a break the fast BBQ!
Step Nine: Set the Table
When you are setting the table for a holiday meal, set an extra plate and welcome someone new into your home! In Jewish tradition, it is a mitzvah to welcome guests and make them feel like a part of the community.
Use this recipe and serve up a sweet new year!