Your synagogue is packed. Parking spaces scarce. You’ve been careful to hold on to your ticket, which is required for entry. These are the days of awe. The time to contemplate the state of your mortality. In the sanctuary, a man blows a ram’s horn to signify the seep of the ancient into the present at a time when the congregation prays for the future. Please God. Inscribe me and my family into your Book of Life. As always, you ask for one more year. Around you, they recite the poem with the punch list of how one might perish. On Rosh Hashanah it is written and on Yom Kippur it is sealed: Who shall live and who shall die. Who by fire and who by water? Who by sword and who by beast? Who by hunger and who by thirst? Who by earthquake and who by drowning? Who by strangling and who by stoning?
But never mind about that. This is the time when you and all Jewish mothers everywhere prepare for the arrival of the family and attempt to make this holiday as authentic and real and Jewish as possible. Obviously, it’s about the meal. Nothing is more sacred than food.