YOM KIPPUR COUNTDOWN – DAY 5

Posted on October 4, 2011. Filed under: Cakes, Cherries, Dairy, Desserts, Ethnic Recipe, Family, Jewish, Kosher Recipe, My Ramblings, Recipes, Sour Cream, Yom Kippur | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


The theme running through Yom Kippur that I like the best is remembering and honoring our ancestors.  In our busy daily lives, we often don’t take the time to remember those we cherish who are no longer with us.  We don’t take the time to remember those past generations that we might not have had a personal recollection of but who are a factor in who we are.

Yizkor-Remember

In Judaism, a memorial service, called Yizkor (meaning “remember”), is recited as part of the prayer service four times during the year. This is based on the Jewish belief in the eternity of the soul. Although a soul can no longer do good deeds after death, it can gain merit through the charity and good deeds of the living.[1]  It is a proven fact that more people attend services on Yom Kippur Day than any other time of the year because Yizkor is said on Yom Kippur.  In the synagogues, not only do we pick up a prayer book and a Chumash  (Jewish scriptures are sometimes bound in a form that corresponds to the division into weekly readings (called parshiyot in Hebrew). Scriptures bound in this way are generally referred to as a Chumash.), but we also pick up a pamphlet that gives the names of the congregation’s deceased and a form to fill out for charity.

In many, if not all, the synagogues, you will find a large plaque with the names of deceased loved ones of the congregation and next to it will be a lit light bulb, and in our homes we light a Yahrzeit (memorial) candle or plug in one of the more modern Yahrzeit lamps that is left on from Erev Yom Kippur (the night before Yom Kippur Day) until we end our fast on Yom Kippur at sundown.  We do this in honor of our beloved ancestors, especially for a parent, a grandparent or a child as we believe that the candle flame symbolizes the human soul.  We only light one candle that includes everyone.

History is of the utmost importance in Judaism. Whereas the sacred texts of most ancient religions focus on myths and philosophical concepts, the Jewish Bible is centered on historical narrative; and most Jewish holidays are intended to connect modern Jews with their historical ancestors and traditions.  We see this most acutely on Yom Kippur when we remember our own recent history.

We remember our ancestors during the year in others ways too.  If there is a birth, the baby is named after a deceased relative.  We do this because people believed that if they would not name their children after their ancestors, their heritage would be forgotten. Naming children for the grandparents (which is normal but a baby can be named for any deceased ancestor) fosters a sense of continuity and purpose.

At Passover we recall our ancestor’s Exodus from Egypt and their journey to the Promised land.  As children we are told bible stories which tell the history of our people.  Each time the Torah is read, we remember those of biblical times that came before us.

But the best way to remember and honor our ancestors is to practice charity in whatever way we are able to.  We should strive to be the best person we can be so we can live up to their expectations of us.  We may fail, but if we at least try, that is a mitzvah (a good deed).

So, this year, as you sit around the table at your break fast, tell family stories, remember and pass those stories down to the next generation and remind your own generation of stories that may link them to you whether you know it or not.

This year, I will take the time to remember my beloved father, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles who are no longer with us.  I will remember my cousin, Roger, who died way too young, and I will remember my best friend, Beverly Clark.  I will remember my friends Sam & Florence Vyner, Elaine Rubin, Sam Goldstein and Florence Epstein.  I will remember those that died during the Holocaust at the hands of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party.  I will remember those martyrs that died because they were Jewish.  I will remember those who have fought to protect our freedom and our country in all the wars that we have been involved in.  I will remember those who died on September 11, 2001. May they all rest in peace.  Amen.

To help sweeten the remembrance of these special people, I offer you this sour cream cake recipe:

Sour Cream and Cherry Coffee Cake

Sour Cream & Cherry Coffee Cake

===============================

1 – 18 oz package white cake mix

1 – 8 oz container sour cream

3 – eggs

1/4 – cup water

1 – 21 oz can Lucky Leaf cherry pie filling

1/4 – cup sliced almonds, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a jelly-roll pan or 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Mix together the sour cream, eggs and water. Combine with the cake mix. Spread mixture into a greased baking dish and drop the pie filling over the batter in spoonfuls. Make sure to swirl the pie filling throughout the batter. If not the pie filling will settle in the middle.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through. Test with toothpick for doneness. Cool in pan and drizzle with a simple icing if desired.

Simple Icing

1 ½ – cups powdered sugar

2 – tablespoons milk

½ – teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over coffee cake and garnish with sliced almonds.

 

 


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