Iza: The Crispy Jew Bu

[vc_row center_row=”” margin_right=””][vc_column][vc_column_text]When you have 8 grandparents you are bound to have a mix of all cultures. Iza is truly a global child being represented by 3 cultural practices. While we are not religious, our families have traditions which we share in, and our own joint practice of Buddhism. This year Iza will experience Christmas (and maybe remember it), Hannukah, and in the New Year she will begin heading towards a meditative yoga practice with us.

She is not unlike most ‘Homelanders,’ who are, by definition, melting pots of worldly experience. Iza is growing up with a knowledge of so many important traditions which are the foundation of history and family… a key element which has been mostly lost to those who grew up as Generation X‘ers and Millennials.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row center_row=”” margin_right=””][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”2944″ alignment=”none”][vcex_spacing size=”10px”][vc_column_text]Christmas comes just 1 time a year, and Easter seems to be a candy coated holiday for kids. Almost everyone on both of sides our family have some relationship to Christianity (except for the Ruby girls.) The Bible is an awesome read if you haven’t read it in a while.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”2945″ alignment=”none”][vcex_spacing size=”10px”][vc_column_text]I was born into a matriarchal Jewish family and as Ruby girl I am bound culturally. If your mother is Jewish, you are Jewish. What I love are the rich stories, filled to the brim with poignant cultural references and valuable lessons… and the fact that food is #1 in cultural tradition.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”2953″ alignment=”none”][vcex_spacing size=”10px”][vc_column_text]Kurt is a Zen practitioner and participates in daily meditation and sesshins as the Tenzo when he can get away to visit his teacher David at the Ithaca Zen Center. I have joined his practice in theory, less so in physical time, but it is our preferred daily commitment.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”2955″ alignment=”none”][vcex_spacing size=”10px”][vc_column_text]Religious exploration has been ever present in our lives. Both our dads have explored Unitarianism but are now staunch atheists. My mom also was a devote Unitarian for most of my life. We have been in many churches, temples and structures with spiritual teachings around the world.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row center_row=”” margin_right=””][vc_column][vcex_spacing][vc_text_separator title=”Unbiased Babe” style=”five” element_type=”div” font_size=”16px”][vc_column_text]We are lucky that we have a hilarious mess of a child – and in all her shining brilliance she finds a way to flash that million dollar smile to anyone who is willing to look at her and pay attention. She is one with the world and every person in it, without bias, criticism or question. When it comes to religion, culture or practice, she is going to choose what she wants. We are just educating her with various traditions.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row center_row=”” margin_right=””][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”2956″ alignment=”none”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”2967″ alignment=”none”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row center_row=”” margin_right=””][vc_column][vcex_spacing][vc_text_separator title=”Books for Generational and Religious Exploration” style=”five” element_type=”div” font_size=”16px”][vcex_image_carousel items_scroll=”page” auto_play=”false” thumbnail_link=”custom_link” custom_links_target=”_blank” item_width=”230px” min_slides=”4″ max_slides=”4″ img_width=”9999″ img_height=”9999″ image_ids=”2961,2962,2965,2960,2963,2964,2972,2979″ custom_links=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1610393503/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1610393503&linkCode=as2&tag=racolifecom-20&linkId=3AYHFYFEQG7PVETP,http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143115154/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0143115154&linkCode=as2&tag=racolifecom-20&linkId=QSCLN5ZGGLHSZN3E,http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1433524767/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1433524767&linkCode=as2&tag=racolifecom-20&linkId=SCBJBUQTDT22LS6V,http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0671034812/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0671034812&linkCode=as2&tag=racolifecom-20&linkId=UYNHPBS2SDCVIBIE,http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590302672/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1590302672&linkCode=as2&tag=racolifecom-20&linkId=WRBMIQGN5STVILRO,http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0310286182/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0310286182&linkCode=as2&tag=racolifecom-20&linkId=LGVQRJQM2W6LQSRY,http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0807016179/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0807016179&linkCode=as2&tag=racolifecom-20&linkId=QWBU4DHWZV6WHKPY,http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003XKN6IC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B003XKN6IC&linkCode=as2&tag=racolifecom-20&linkId=OSJV4DJ22MKAVF6Q,”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Manischewitz, “It tastes like a hangover.”

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]I have had the fortunate experience to know what Jewish cuisine tastes like for my whole life. I am happy to also say, I do not seek it out on a regular basis, but it is something I have during high holidays. While now I cannot try many of the items (most of it is made with unleavened bread – wheat), they are tradition, and many of the flavor profiles and products stem from wonderful stories recounted during each holiday.

The most wonderful grammy in the world is my Grammy Dolen. She lives in Orlando, and when we used to visit her at holidays we would have to fly to her, so she became known as Airplane Grammy. Like any good Jew, she provides a ‘menu dialogue’ upon arrival. A menu dialogue goes like this;

G: Oh sweetie, I am so glad to see you. You must be starving after your journey. What would you like to eat?

R: Nothing Grammy, but thanks.

G: I made the most delicious soup yesterday for you. What about a nice warm bowl for you?

R: Wow, that sounds so tasty. But I am not hungry right now. My stomach is a little yucky from the flight.

G: Oh no… well how about some Matzah? Maybe I could add a little peanut butter on top?

R: I’m okay right now, thanks so much, though.

G: Maybe some grapes? Or how about some cottage cheese with melon? I made a fruit cocktail this morning with blueberry Activia and it was wonderful. Perhaps I could make that for you?

R: How about in a little while? Maybe just some water for now.

G: Perfect, dah-ling. I will get that right away. Maybe you would also like ice? I also bought some chocolate Ruggalah which you might enjoy. For dinner I am planning to make stuffed cabbage with raisins, but that won’t be for a few hours. I think it would be really better if you had a little snack.

R: Okay Grammy. I would love to have some of your soup now. Thank you.

G: Right away sweetie. I’m so glad you will try it.

One of the best things about her is that she always wins, and I know she will from the beginning… there is just something so wonderfully familiar about the menu dialogue. It makes me smile just recounting.

So, I have gone off on a little tangent to explain how important food is to our family… only to share a fantastic video with you that will perhaps change your life forever. For those Jew’s out there, I hope you die laughing, because I did. For those non-Jews maybe this will inspire you to join a seder during a high holiday. It is so worth it for the stories, not the food (but I suppose also for the the food, since it is ultimately the basis for the stories).

And for the record: my favorite food is of course Matzah Ball soup… and yes, I have made this Gluten Free and vegan for my grandmother and even she likes it![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vcex_spacing size=”30px” class=”” visibility=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_video link=”http://youtu.be/SqYGGqTC_Us”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Did you know we are culturally Jewish?

From a religious perspective, we are not really anything, but we identify as culturally Jewish and are Buddhist practitioners. The best part of being culturally Jewish? The holidays, of course! What Jew doesn’t love a good party… food at the foundation, and love and hugs all around. It is really the most wonderful culture to share in.

Today, we wish you a wonderful start to Rosh Hashana from The Brand Fam.

4 GenerationsAs a child I think I only observed the holiday 2 times with my grandmother’s deeper connection with religious practice. As an adult I have celebrated more often, as a way to retrieve some sense of heritage and hope for keeping the connection for my children to my familial culture. It is believed that the Jewish tie is connected between the mother and child, so if the blood line of Judaism comes through the mother, it cannot be broken. My mother’s line is Jewish, so therefore myself, and my children are by definition, Jewish.

We are fortunate, even here in Gautemala, to have found friends to celebrate with. We will be going to our new friends Osnat, Tim and Ela’s tonight to enjoy a potluck and begin the two day celebration.

L’shana tov!


What is Rosh Hashana? (taken from Judaism 101)

In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “head of the year” or “first of the year.” Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. It is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year. The common greeting at this time is L’shanah tovah (“for a good year”).

Rosh Hashana Food

Two cool traditions: The shofar is a ram’s horn which is blown somewhat like a trumpet. One of the most important observances of this holiday is hearing the sounding of the shofar in the synagogue. A total of 100 notes are sounded each day. Another popular observance during this holiday is eating apples dipped in honey, a symbol of our wish for a sweet new year.