September 28, 2009 | 11:58am
Yom Kippur is a time for deep reflection on the past 12 months, our personal triumphs and failures. It's a day of contemplation for Jews the world over, the end of week-long New Year celebrations.
|Beauty in the imperfections
We'd be kidding ourselves, however, to not admit that a significant portion of this sacred day is also spent thinking about food. The food we haven't eaten since last nightfall!
The symbolic nature of hunger during today's ritual fast is obvious. But it's also simple math: a reverse bell curve, peaking in the morning as we wake up with empty stomachs, receding in the afternoon as our thoughts turn inward, and then spiking again at night, once the bountiful break-the-fast feast is spread before us.
Part of the specialness of holidays, no matter what your denomination, is spending time with family. For us Jews, it's also about the bonding of generations over foods traditional to our ancestors' homeland and also the modern Jewish American home.
Cooking these meals together is especially important in my family. My mother hosts Yom Kippur at her house, and I assume my usual role as sous chef.
FASTING SPOILER ALERT: Click here
at your own risk for an account of preparations for tonight's meal that may render your bell curve less curvaceous. Don't say I didn't warn you!