Right now, I am writing this post absurdly quickly before Yom Tov begins. My family will be all together in one Gravesend, Brooklyn home for the next several hours, and many more over the next several days.
The High Holy Days are like the World Series of Jewish holidays. You pretty much know exactly what's going to happen during the event, but it takes days, and the end is always in question.
"Will Uncle Morty pass out from the fast?"
"I swear to all that is holy I hope someone remembers the damned honey cake. I'm not baking another. "
"Which teen will purposely try to drink too much crap sweet wine, and regret THAT decision pretty much immediately?"
"Shit, Sukkot is coming. DID ANYONE ORDER THE TENT??! I'M NOT EATING UNDER A TARP AGAIN!!"
Now, don't get me wrong, I love my family. They're amazing. They've survived in the face of horrible circumstances (not to be confused with circumcision, which roughly half of them have survived), poverty, and racism. My Bubby makes the world's best kreplach and gives the best hugs. It's like a very soft boa constrictor who smells vaguely of lilies and schmaltz.
But, you see....
I'm not religious. I'm practically an apostate. While half of my family wears long skirts and sheitels, I'm the one in jogging shorts and probably unwashed hair.
My family doesn't care, they love me no matter what--ok, except my dad, but to be fair, I am pretty sure he came out wrong. But there are a few, kind-of pointed reminders of my lack of proper Jewiness. I could wear more modest clothing, BERNIE SANDERS IS JEWISH!! (Yes, yes, he is, but I'm all Hillary all the time.) Keeping Kosher isn't really that hard, and I could watch everyone else's children with those extra hours I have in every day!
Pretty soon, they're going to realize this is a great reason not to have a Kosher kitchen. I only like my own children.
I am desperately grateful for the wonderful people I am related to, and I am proud of my Jewish heritage. Rosh Hashanah, our new year, is a time for renewal and invigoration. It doesn't matter if I don't believe in separating milk from meat, I believe in renewal, in doing good for others, and holidays surrounding pomegranates, honey, and wine. Let's be honest, isn't that what really matters?