Preparing myself for the Days of Awe...it starts today with the ingredients sitting on my kitchen counter, ingredients waiting to be made into kugels, souffles, casseroles and quiches. Into the freezer they'll then go, and on September 28 out on the break-fast table they'll be. For the past 25 years, hosting break-fast has been our family tradition. We are usually 30 - 40 strong, even after 24 hours of fasting. We come together hungry, reflective, sometimes plainly satisfied, sometimes observedly solemn. With open anticipation, we all crowd into the dining room.
Our break-fast begins with our own family ritual, an assertive blast of the shofar. The defining moment is when I raise my bagel for Hamotzi and look around at all the faces, the familiar faces of friends and family who are with us year after year, the faces of new lives and new friends, the missing faces. It is at that moment that I realize, measure and find myself in awe of all that is the same and all that has changed. It is at that moment that I take stock of the year that has passed and catch a glimpse of the year to come.