Young Emissary Reflects on High Holidays in Israel

Both my parents made Aliyah in their mid twenties. Mom immigrated from New Zealand and dad from South Africa. They met and married in Israel.

When the Tishrei holidays came around the first year they lived in Israel, they started seeing many sales on bicycles! My mom thought maybe it was because many people bought them as New Year presents for their children. Little did they know that, for many Israeli kids, Yom Kippur is a cycling day.

There is no traffic and all cars are off the roads. Growing up in Israel, I remember how my friends and I were busy getting our bikes ready weeks in advance just as if we were professional cyclists getting ready for a big race.

As we all know, a Jewish holiday isn't really a holiday if there isn't any food involved. For my family, we make sure the food before and after the fast is just as good as any other holiday. Before the fast, my dad alway makes sure we have soup and "Perogen''—a pastry filled with meat that we dip in the soup. Every year, my mom argues that when she grew up "Perogen'' was something completely different and maybe we should make it that way this year, but we can never break good tradition!

When the fast finally ends, my dad picks us up from shul and we always—without missing a year—quickly hop in the car and dash to our good family friends. We are probably the first one on the road that evening. There, we always have the exact same food that the same people bring. It never changes! Bev brings the best Babka I have ever had, we run in, take a slice, spread some butter, and that's how we know Yom Kippur has officially ended.

Chag Sameach and Shanah Tovah,

Noa Saitowitz

Young Emissary (2018-19)

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