The familiar and the unknown

Elizabeth Hersh is Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanuel (TE), and a blogger on the Jewish Light’s website (   Joel Iskiwitch and John DeMott, authors of the  “What can you do?”  sidebar, are congregants at TE.

By Rabbi Elizabeth Hersh

My hut was gone. Allow me to explain. Our family treasures the opportunity to ski in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We know the slopes well. At a particular location there was a hut where one could go in to warm up and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a candy bar. They sold a few edible items but not much. Finding a seat was a challenge. More often than not, I stood up against the wall just happy to be out of the elements.

It is now a huge restaurant replete with a detailed menu and seating on two levels. Out of a deep sense of loyalty to the convenience of the location, my husband and I stopped for lunch. Ouch! Not only was the simplicity of the hut gone, but so was the easy comfort food I associate with skiing. Missing was pizza, mac and cheese and my beloved vegetarian chili. In their place were fancy salads and salmon on focaccia!

Can you believe my disappointment? How ridiculous. I just wanted to stand in an overly crowded place and eat mac and cheese – my version of a comfort food on a cold day. 

Isn’t it true that the only constant is change? Sometimes I welcome change with open arms. I even anticipate the wonders that will spring from change. Other times, I desire the familiar. I long to be grounded in environments I know. 

When we stop for lunch tomorrow, I have already requested that we dine in a place where the menu is familiar. I will save the salads for when I return home.