Yesterday night was probably the first time anybody in my family had a Rosh Hashana seder (a Jewish New Year dinner) since either the late 19th century in southeastern Ukraine or since the early 20th century in China. I say "probably" because, obviously, I have no hard data to back that up. And questioning the dead to see if they had abandoned the practice altogether or were just very secretive about it is, well, impossible. At least when you're an atheist. [SIGH]
Nevertheless, with all the awkwardness implied in doing something for the first time ever, with zero first hand experience and hopefully enough reading done, with limited ingredients and all the restrictions imposed by not living yet at your own place, I did what I could. "It's the thought that counts" has never rang more true.
We set the table. We placed some green apple slices and a small bowl with maple syrup; a salad made with beets, pomegranate, cilantro, onion, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, cranberry juice and salt; a bottle of red wine; and the only round bread we could get our hands on - cranberry bagels.
And so, with the sweetness of maple and pomegranates symbolizing the wish for a sweet and joyous year; the round bagels symbolizing the cycle of days, seasons and years; and soothing Persian music by Mahsa Vahdat as background (a nice coincidence, given the pomegranate and the Babylonian influence on the celebration), we wished each other a shana tova u metuka, a good and sweet year. The significance of the coincidence of this celebration, of our somewhat rough landing in Mexico City, of yet another beginning of a new life for us, and of sweet flavours tempering tart ones, is not lost on me.
A good and sweet year!
שנה טובה ומתוקה
Anyada buena, para munchos anyos!
אַ גוט געבענטשט יאָר