|Judith Whitehead lives in Amherst New York and has worked in|
the ophthalmology field of medicine for over 30 years.
What do we know as the meaning of the word tradition? A tradition by definition is the passing down of customs from generation to generations. I know traditions have morphed in our family over the years.
When I was growing up we always had a traditional holiday dinner with our immediate family full of gefilta fish and roast brisket, turkey, kasha varnishkas and kishka…so many wonderful and delicious dinners we all looked forward to.
As we began to grow up and start our own families we began to start our own traditions with our family and friends. Once again as our family expands and our children start their own families, our traditions still hold true and as we start to lose family members as they pass away we start new traditions with other families and friends.
We have spent the last several years celebrating many of the Jewish holidays with our dear friends and their friends and family members. We have combined our families to start new traditions; it seems as the years pass on we replace those that have passed on with new members at the table to take their place and become part of our tradition.
Traditions keep a family strong, and as I have found over the years it doesn't always have to be blood relatives that keep our traditions going; it’s the new friendships and other family members that bring new ideas to share and cherish from year to year. It’s the memories that stay in our hearts and keep our families strong through all the sorrows and celebrations that we partake in.
It’s never too late to start a new tradition; the Jewish people have more holidays all year than almost any other religion. They make it easy to have an excuse to gather and celebrate our lives together.
I am already looking forward to Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and our friends’ famous recipe of brisket and special salad dressing that is home made. We know we can count on fresh homemade apple pies for desert, for it is a tradition that we have year after year without fail.
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