#BlogElul 26: Hope

#BlogElul 2013Perhaps I ought to be writing a post about grand, world-embracing hopes. You know, stuff like peace throughout all the lands, spiritual enlightenment, freedom and justice for all — that sort of thing.

I’m sorry to disappoint anyone who came here looking for something noble and inspirational, but I’m afraid the hopes that are noisiest in my head right now are not nearly so high-minded. They mostly boil down to, “I hope Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner goes well.”

As I related in my first #BlogElul post, we are having a few people over for dinner to welcome 5774. We don’t have much experience hosting dinner parties, but we jumped in and invited people over anyway. That was all well and good, but still firmly in the airy-fairy realm of the theoretical up until this weekend. It’s all starting to get real now, though, with my husband’s folks arriving at the airport this evening and the big grocery list coming together in earnest. I have a lot of hopes, mostly aligned with those obnoxious what-if scenarios that plague me with vivid images of all that could go wrong.

I hope the brisket isn’t tough.

I hope my father-in-law’s allergy medicine and our vacuuming are enough to keep the cat hair from making him miserable.

I hope the challah dough rises properly.

I hope my round challah doesn’t turn out as derpy-looking as my practice attempt a few weeks ago.

Challah fail.

Challah fail. (It still tasted good, at least.)

I hope I don’t spill red wine on the white tablecloth (or in anyone’s lap).

I hope we don’t miss anything egregious in our pre-guest cleaning.

I hope our grocery run this morning includes all of the stuff we will need, because those last-minute panic trips for that one missing key ingredient are no fun.

Most of all, I hope we all have a joyful evening together with friends and family. Everything else is secondary, I know, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hope for smoothness and perfection. Even if we run into some bumps, though, I hope for the wisdom to appreciate that the most important thing at the table is not the decor or a magazine-cover-worthy meal.


#BlogElul, the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer, invites participants to chronicle the month leading up to the Jewish High Holy Days through blog posts, photos, and other social media expressions.

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