Monday, September 10, 2007

Finding Joy

“You have to smile to sing about happiness (Yis’m’chu) and joy (oneg),” Teddy, our choir director extraordinaire said. ONEG – we all thought that meant food.

You see we have an “Oneg” after most services at Temple Micah, where people gorge themselves on challah, humous and pita, herring, cantaloupe, cheese, brownies, you name it. There’s always way more food than we need, but it’s such a sweet way to end a prayer service.

At Washington Hebrew Congregation and even at Temple Beth El, the oneg was a catered affair. At WHC they used real silver and the bought pastries were divine. But truthfully, I like homemade brownies a lot better. At Micah it’s about the food, not the silver service!

So you see I have found JOY in a most unexpected way. I have been experiencing JOY every time I attended services and just calling it by its Hebrew name.

The next time through the Yis’m’chu we smiled and remembered that we were singing about happiness and joy. It made all the difference in the world. But all that discussion of Oneg did tend to make me hungry!


Blogger Kristin said...

I like that joy and food are so intertwined and that one makes you think of the other, in at least once in a while. How Pavlovian.

Singing actually makes me think of joy as well. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord. It seems like it's all around, that oneg.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- Yeah, joy and food are both so pleasant!

3:05 PM  
Blogger steve said...

I used to work at a hotel where we had a HUGE Jewish clientele...every week there was a Bar Mitzvah or a Bat )never could get used to that name) Mitzvah and invariably I would be called on to make an atrocious dish, I can't remember what they called it but it had eggs and CornFlakes in it and it sucked the Joy right outta me every time I had to make it!
I'd be bitchin' the whole rest of the week!

4:06 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- Could it have been some sort of kugel? Unfortunately there are some really awful recipes in every ethnic cuisine. FYI: I don't make anything that involves Corn Flakes! So sorry your "oneg" was gone, but assume it has long been restored!

4:42 PM  

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