It was a wonderful kickoff to what is sure to be my biggest book yet. And why will The Flavors of Faith: Holy Breads be so successful and reach so many people?
Because it’s a book about the universality of holiness, of how ritual and symbolism and meaning permeate all of our lives, through the foods we eat and the ways we nourish mind and body.
Yes, it’s a book about bread with beautiful pictures, interesting stories and delicious recipes.
More than that, though, it’s a book about how people come together over food, how we elevate our existence by blessing and by ritual, and how we care for those around us by nourishing them, and ourselves in the process.
On Sunday, nearly 100 people turned out in the basement of St. John Church in Royal Oak to hear my first speech about this book. I was nervous, to be sure, but excited. I spent the morning in preparation, re-reading the book I’d written and proofread, edited and revised.
It’s miraculous the way you pick up something you’ve seen so many times and see it anew.
And the people who came – one older woman grabbed my cheeks with her soft fingers and said, “You’re so cute!”
Another was sure I’d written about her 15 years ago in the Jewish News; several invited me to speak to their congregations and one is referring me to her daughter in Ann Arbor.
Everybody left with smiles. Everybody tasted a beautiful array of breads representing chapters of the book. We had blessings in English, Hebrew, Arabic, Christianity, Judaism, Islam.
We came together to find common ground. And we found it.
I am so excited for this journey.