… in recent years, the break-fast party has become part of the Jewish social calendar. From Los Angeles to Chicago to New York, many are attending large, crowded break-fasts, where the spirit of the High Holy Days can get lost in the mixing, and where the day’s solemnity quickly abates, smothered by large quantities of cream cheese and hummus.
Vanessa Ochs, who teaches religion at the University of Virginia, says the new, bigger break-fast raises theological questions. Even before the day of repentance is over, many people are forced to think about the meal they will be serving.
“In the last 25 years, the break-fast has, in some friendship groups, become such a moment for gratitude and coming together that people will stay home from services to cook and prepare,” Dr. Ochs said. “That isn’t what they’re supposed to be doing, but from a non-halakhic” ”” extra-legal ”” “perspective, if this meal marks who is in your friendship circle, and who is going to be there for you, then this is a holy communal feast.”
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