shana tovah!
The hours are counting down here in Jerusalem and my marvelous roommate and I are gearing up for the festive meal we are making tonight for family and friends.

Many people have a tradition of eating certain foods whose Hebrew name sounds like something we want in the coming year (“Silka” or beets, sounds like the “siluk,” meaning “removal.” “may our adversaries be removed.” etc.) Believing that religion is only as meaningful as you make it, we’ve left behind traditional simanim like leeks and lambs heads (ewwww), and invented our own which are meaningful to us. So, in addition to the real meal, we are serving such things as:

Peas – For Peas on Earth
Berries – For a Berry good year
Hearts of Palm – For not hardening our hearts to the suffering of our fellow man
Salat – For Salaam with our neighbors
Lettuce – Lettuce pursue justice
Olive – We should olive in a way of self honesty, pursuing opportunities for growth

and of course, corn, for the courage to be corny.

A lot has happened in my life the past year I don’t really know what I believe in going into this holiday season. I’m not quite sure how or where to connect, but I’m pretty sure that’s my own fault. Inspiration doesn’t just fall upon you, you have to seek it out ruthlessly (a lesson I should have retained from film school), so anyway, here’s wishing myself and everyone else a year of honest searching, because life is so much grander when you are living inspired.

By the way, we decided second day’s lunch will be a pot luck in the park, where we can all lay on the grass and digest two days worth of binge eating, anyone in Jerusalem is invited to come down to Gan Hapa’amon and join us!

PS, I want to repeat what I said in a comment, which was that if anything I have written has caused pain or distress to anyone, I am sincerly sorry, it was never intended to hurt, and I hope you can forgive me.

About the author

Laya Millman


  • Inspiration is special because it’s not always around when we need it. And RH is always tough for those of us who, perhaps, lean toward thinking too much, but I always think it beats the alternative of just going through meaningless motions and mouthing words that we’re not thinking about at all.

    Plus, without this holiday, I’d hardly have an annual excuse to get all contemplative and wax pedantic online and off-, and then I’d have to go to rabbinical school. And that’s the last thing I need.

    A wonderful and Jewlicious year to us all.

  • Your probably not going to see this in time to spread the word out, but just in case, send my love and Shana Tovah wishes to all of the Chevra over there in Israel. May this year be a year of clarity, peace, and comfort for all of us…

  • Bahaha I love the corny food selections 😀 Hilarious!
    Shana tova, all the best 🙂

  • wow, laya. you have no idea how great it makes me feel to know that you’re exactly in the same place that i am right now in terms of searching. you’re exactly right. here’s to a good year and searching. thanks.

  • Temple Beth Israel-Evanston needs to be terminated with extreme prejudice.

    Little fifteen year-old, pimply-faced Hitler wannabe with a swastika on his notebook.

    FOAD. Do it today.