I love food.
Check that- I’m actually a very picky eater but I love eating.
The bad news: Yom Kippur is coming. The good news: other than Yom Kippur, it’s the season for incredible food in Judaism. At no other time of the year is the flavor of Judaism so delicious, and so healthy.
You might challenge me by saying that the winter/spring are just as rewarding in the Jewish/culinary department, but I’ll assert that the deep-fried latkes at Chanukah, butter-rich hamantaschen at Purim, egg-centric Passover food, and dairy-explosive Shavuot delicacies aren’t the healthiest options for those of us who read labels and try to eat responsibly.
Contrast that with the foods of fall that we prepare and consume in this festive season: apples and honey at Rosh Hashanah, squash and pumpkins at Sukkot, brisket and turkey, early autumn crock-pot masterpieces, round challot with raisins… it’s an earthy, organic, wholesome, harvest-y, good-for-your-body eating season for Jews.
Sukkot, which begins in less than a week, is the harvest festival for Fall, and it’s the perfect time to be celebrating the season. Unlike last year, when Sukkot started in the middle of a hot September, the autumn chill has arrived just in time to make our Sukkot just crisp and cool enough to warrant hot cider and warm bread being completely appropriate as we welcome our family, friends, and ushpizin into our Sukkot.
And it’s not just for us. Nothing shouts “October” more than the Red Sox visits to apple orchards, strolling through pumpkin patches, going on hay rides and pony rides, and picking out mulling spices and caramel apples at farm shops. It’s time for fleece jackets, long-sleeved shirts, extra blankets around the house, and slow drives through sleepy towns checking out the foliage. To truly enjoy the season, check out a local Oktoberfest or Fall Festival, or, better yet, go to Ganei Beantown’s Sukkot Family Harvest Festival coming up on October 16.
Whatever you do, celebrate fall in style, eat your healthy heart out, and enjoy the changing seasons that makes living in New England so special.