What do Emergency Preparedness and the Holidays have in Common?

Every year on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur all the synagogues have their annual food drives. Most American Churches have similar drives in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas. People usually bring a few cans, or maybe do a special trip to the grocery store and purchase a bag of wholesome non-parishable food goods and water to contribute.
A number of years ago, after the tragic Hurricane Katrina– I had an idea. It has become a tradition in our family that has two purposes. One, we are able to donate a lot more food than we might have to these annual food drives. And two, we are stocked every year with fresh canned goods and water, in case of an emergency.
According to the American Red Cross, each home should have enough food and water for each occupant stored away for three days in case disaster strikes. So every year, before high holydays we go to Costco Wholesale and purchase canned goods and water– and I always check the expiration dates. Most canned foods last for three years. I stock up on all the foods we would eat for three days and store them in the garage in case of emergency. Then before Rosh Hashanah, I clean out the ones from the year before and donate them to charity. Since canned goods last three years, they usually have at least two more years to go and will likey get used right away at holiday time.

Pictured above is about half of my annual ’emergency supply’ high holydays food donation.

Speaking of high holydays and food– it would not be Rosh Hashanah without posting my grandma Mary Kleinhandler’s famous honey cake recipe. It was published in last year’s J. Jewish News Weekly:















Finally, as we get ready to welocme 10 days of spiritual introspection– I wanted to recommend this book, by Marcia Falk— The Days Between– Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season.







I am wishing everyone a sweet and joyous New Year. L’shana Tova!


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