For the new year I’ll have a new congressman. He’s anti-choice and wants cuts that threaten our social welfare. That’s just the tip of the iceberg for Bob Turner, who won the special election for Anthony Weiner’s seat, which includes the New York City district where I live.
And that’s the kicker. One of the key reasons I put up with living in this exhilarating but exhausting city with its bad air, crowded subways, concrete backyards, constant sirens, and exorbitant expense is that this metropolis breeds acceptance of liberal ideas. That here I will find like-minded people who believe government exists to provide a safety net for our communities and public services that protect the most vulnerable among us. I trusted that I lived in a place where my elected representatives thought likewise. This is no longer true and residing in my part of Queens has now upped the ante for bearing life in this city.
As I turn to the new year of 5772, I draw sustenance from a Sephardic tradition that uses symbolic foods accompanied by prayers with wishes for the new year. Rabbi Jill Jacobs explains that many of the prayers incorporate Hebrew puns with the food mentioned. She encourages us to develop our own English puns as we prepare our Rosh Hashanah menu.
So for erev Rosh Hashanah when I am hosting guests for dinner, I decided to serve beet soup to “beet” the blues away that have followed this special election. I plan to get a raisin challah so I can start “raisin’” my energy for Obama’s 2012 election, and I will offer a small bowl of dates, to mark the date when redistricting starts in New York state and with it the loss of two congressional seats, one I hope in my neighborhood.
These are my dishes of wishes I look forward to serving.
May this year be filled with all you hope for in a world at peace. Shana Tova.