Jewish Journal

Because Jews have it better! Jewish New Year in Krakow

Michal Zajda

September 13, 2013 | 2:28 pm

A day not like other days, after all it’s the New Year – because Jews have it better. First they celebrate their new year sumptuously, then a couple months later another, just to be decent, not their own, but after all a new year. Think of those in Russia, where additionally the Eastern Orthodox use the Julian calendar! It is madness.

Yesterday, as a Jewish community, we rang in the new year 5774 in Kraków and if the whole year is truly going to be like its beginning, then I’m afraid a wardrobe change, at least a size or two up, will be required. It is no surprise that on momentous occasions the community requires nourishment, but it is worth noting that during less official ones it is also gladly accepted. Surely, this is due to the fact that after eating Jews show increased spiritual activity. In my opinion, this aspect of religiousness requires in-depth research. By the way, Tadeusz Jakubowicz, Chairman of the Religious Community in Kraków, along with rabbi Eliezer Gurary, who also happens to be the proprietor of pretty much the only professional kosher catering service in Kraków, prepared a small treat. . But let’s start from the beginning.

At two o’clock in the afternoon the celebration began with a dinner in the Community headquarters on Skawińska street, one knows there is no point in praying on an empty stomach, but also... let’s not overdo it. Considering the above, a Jew when hungry loses his spiritual vigor, and that can’t be allowed. What would the ancestors say. The traditional dinner prepared especially for this occasion was meant to invigorate the Jewish spirit and lead it toward God. The plan was successful. In the Remuh synagogue opened especially for this occasion (it is being renovated) the crowd milled and pulsated, which taking into account the number of Jews in Kraków, is quite impressive.

The hungry faces, which reflected the many hours of prayers like a mirror, crawled into the Kupa synagogue on Miodowa street in Kraków around 8 p.m., what awaited them – well, what indeed? There are few Jews in Kraków, of course not as few as is commonly assumed, but not many nonetheless. There are many tourists, friends, sympathizers, tourists’ pals, friends of friends and sympathizer’s girlfriends, surely friendly as well. Dear Ladies and Gentleman! It is a sure thing that they must all eat, because it is not customary for cultured people in Kraków to deny a “lost” friend a snack, the friend who knows a colleague from a former workplace, because he just happened to be walking by, of course. There is an economic crisis in Poland. Unemployment is out of control but there never was a situation where people went hungry during the holidays. In keeping with this old Polish-Jewish ecumenical tradition, everyone interested was allowed in for a meal. Dear Ladies and Gentleman – the general gathering of dozens of people present there could not manage the entirety of the available foods, but even a starving cohort of Roman legionaries, after a year-long march of following the enemy, would fall to ileus immediately, having consumed all of the food there! I will not describe the menu, because it does not seem moral considering the people starving in Africa and the reader may get some ideas. There was plenty to eat there and let’s leave it at that.

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