This High Holy Day week (actually 10 days) has been like a great homecoming, and I just wanted all the foods that go with it. Returning to my Jewish heritage--through Yeshua!--after forty years in the wilderness---was something that I truly celebrated in this week.
We live in a small city in the South of Japan. There is no way to find Jewish holiday foods anywhere around here, so I searched a recipe and decided to make kreplach myself, after finding out that it is a traditional food to eat before the fast on Yom Kippur (recipe here). A food my grandmother might have made and generations even before that.
As I was rolling out the little squares of dough and putting in the meat filling, I thought about the holiday, which is about repentance and atonement. We---"both the native-born and the outsider dwelling among you"--- are to observe this most Holy day on the Kingdom calendar year after year throughout the generations, as commanded in the Torah.
"It is to be a statute to you forever, that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you are to afflict your souls, and do no kind of work--both the native-born and the outsider dwelling among you. For on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. From all your sins you will be clean before ADONAI. It is a Shabbat of solemn rest to you, and you are to afflict your souls. It is a statute forever." ---Leviticus 16: 29 〜 30
On this "tenth day of the seventh month" as it was now, I reflected on the miracle that my eyes were opened through Yeshua here in Japan just a few years ago. Through His Salvation I was brought back to God and the Torah and to the Jewish roots of our faith.
Recently I watched the movie musical of Fiddler on the Roof. Seeing it now I realized how it was the story of my ancestors. Like Tevye and his family in the story, they had to leave their small towns in Russia and Eastern Europe because of their Jewish faith. The scene was touching where they are packing to go. The Rabbi takes the Torah and carries it on his shoulder. The mother packs her Sabbath candlesticks in with their few belongings. They were going to America!! Something about seeing that story touched my heart as I realized my family too started that way. My grandfather's parents had to flee their towns, which were actually closer to this side of the world where I am now. They came all the way to America, like Tevye the milkman in the musical and his family. For the first time I could imagine my family that way, probably with their few belongings too, bringing what was most dear to them and especially the faith in their hearts.
How could I have wanted to run away from my heritage, what was it I wanted to hide and turn away from? I had no sense of the preciousness of what they were carrying. I thought I could just decide to turn away from it and I did. I didn't observe Yom Kippur all my years in Japan. I had a lot to repent for on this day. I looked at the flour covered board and the plump little dumplings, the dough covering and concealing the inside filling....just meditating on this first Yom Kippur in Japan,
preparing for the fast....making .... kreplach...
I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Intercessor with the Father--the righteous Messiah Yeshua. He is the atonement for our sins, and not only for our sins but also for the whole world.
1 John 2: 1 〜 2 TLV