Teiglach, sore feet and a houseful of cousins: These are my Rosh Hashanah memories from childhood.

My mother grew up in an Orthodox home. Although we were not religious, mother kept vestiges of her Jewish commitment in our home. We kept kosher. Candles were lite each Friday evening, accompanied by Kiddush and challah. No school on any of the Jewish holidays. Shabbat had to be different than the other days – no shopping, laundry, whether we went to synagogue or not.

On the High Holidays – Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur- we did not drive at all, not even to synagogue. We walked the mile and a half back and forth. Being vain teenagers, my sister and I wore our new holiday outfits and high heeled shoes. We never thought about taking walking shoes for the trek, then changing upon arrival, nor did anyone suggest it. So, upon arrival home, the first day of Rosh Hashanah, shoes were quickly discarded. We walked barefoot around the house and soaked our feet in the bathtub before going to bed. We turned around and did the exactly the same thing the next day. Returning to school after the holiday, we walked gingerly all week. What price beauty!

But, the fun, exciting part of holiday was the visits from my father’s family. Since we did not drive, they had to come to us, and come to us they did! Aunts, uncles, cousins and their kids showed up on both days of Rosh Hashanah. Mother set the table with lots of holiday goodies which I also helped to prepare: chopped liver, challah, apples and honey, kichel, cakes, cookies, candy, and, of course, my father’s favorite, teiglach (round dough balls soaked in honey which we purchased at our neighborhood Jewish bakery.

Raising my own children, my mother’s traditions have been continued but modernized. We do keep a kosher home and celebrate each holiday. With my children attending Hillel Day School, there was no school on the Jewish holidays. We also walk to synagogue on the high holidays, but now, in comfortable shoes that could be changed upon arrival, but worn for services on Yom Kippur. The fun family visits were incorporated into an open house for cousins and friends.

I call all of the Jewish bakeries in our community, No one made taiglach anymore. So, since the Jewish bakeries ceased making teiglach, I learned how. Daddy was very happy. One year, it was even his birthday cake. Teiglach remains my unique Rosh Hashanah treat in memory of my parents.

When my sister moved next to a lake, we moved our open house to her home and incorporated a new tradition into our celebration, Tashlich. Forty people or more gathered together to read prayers and cast our sins into the water. The swans and ducks came to enjoy eating the crumbs.

The highlight was the shofar blowing led by my son, Oren, on the very large shofar that we bought him, per his request, in Jerusalem on his bar mitzvah trip. Many of our relatives, as well as the kids, conquered getting sounds out of the multiple shofarim that we brought to the ceremony.

Covid put a stop to our large gatherings. Hopefully, we will resume in the future. However, we continue to carry-on my mother’s and our family traditions with our immediate family.

Hadassah stands for Jewish values and traditions. Hadassah also stands up for women’s empowerment and leadership, and therefore strongly supports the role of Jewish woman as keepers of the flame of Jewish values, traditions and beliefs. I am proud to be a Life Member of a national organization with such a noble purpose.

Enjoy the holiday. Wishing you and yours a healthy, sweet new year.

Shanah Tovah!

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