Thursday, July 18, 2019 -
Print Edition

What’s new in your Jewish New Year?

It was early morning and we could tell by the blanket of heat enveloping Grand Teton National Park that the day was going to be a scorcher. We loaded up with water and food, slathered on sun screen and covered ourselves with enough bug repellent to keep everything, including close friends, away. Ready and raring to hike, my husband and I began the 10-mile trek around Jenny Lake.

Oh what a hike it was! Our efforts rewarded us with alpine meadows, gushing waterfalls and snow-capped peaks.

When we were done, I was tired. I mean, take-off-your-boots-and-fall-into-bed tired. But a cute outdoor café beckoned. As we sat outside on the deck, rubbing our aching feet, we stared at the Tetons towering in the distance.

A group of young hikers sat at the table next to us. I looked over as the waitress brought them a tray of icy cold glasses filled with an amber-gold liquid. An orange was perched on the edge of each glass. When she came to take our order I heard myself say:

“I’ll have whatever they’re having,” totally clueless as to what they were drinking.

That was my “Teton moment” — the point in time when a deeper pleasure than that of  drowning my thirst became apparent to me. In the simple act of ordering a drink I had never had before, I opened myself up to a sense of possibility. In doing something new and unexpected, I felt excited, even liberated from my same old routine (as in, a glass of white wine, with ice, though I know it’s tacky).

The bonus? I found out that hot afternoon that I love wheat beer, although I can never remember its proper name, hefeweizen.

The rest of this article is available in the IJN’s print edition only. Contact Carol to order your copy at (303) 861-2234 or email

Amy Lederman

IJN Columnist | Reflections

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