Dear Shaina,

I was filled with a mixture of pride and trepidation while reading your last letter. Your dreams are lofty. The world is a mess. And your generation is being left with a big load of troubles to bear. Your heart and your talents are in the right place. In Judaism, to save a life is to save the world…or something to that effect. If only everyone shared your optimism and your desire to change the world one person at a time—one story at a time—we might have a better chance of finding a way to live together.

My generation vehemently protested the war and promoted love, peace and alternative lifestyles. Somehow, we got co-opted into focusing our energies on bigger houses, faster cars and diversified growth stock portfolios despite the impact on the earth or our neighbors. It’s your turn to try another approach to redeem our missteps. I am in full support of your efforts and pray fervently that you and your generation will find some measure of success.

When I think time can’t just whisk by any faster, it seems that it does. Is Purim really here already? Wasn’t it just Hanukkah?! I want to stop the rush of time! Or at least slow it down. It feels like I just finished making 150 hamentashen for the Chesed Committee at Temple last year. This year they need 250. I am almost there plus a few extra to share with friends and family. I am still using Bubbe’s recipe, and it seems to have been received very well. Or maybe they just couldn’t find someone else who actually enjoys cutting out little circles and wrapping them into triangles around a dollop of some sweet filling.

I am planning a Shabbat dinner with some new faces just to get out of the winter rut a bit. I will have plenty of hamentashen for dessert, but I thought I would also add a Persian touch to the main menu. Purim is, after all, a holiday that originated in Persia. I am using Lily’s ramped-up recipe for Persian-style rice.

I know I am past my prime in terms of changing the world, but I hope to continue to at least bring a little pleasure to some palates…one mouthful, one bite at a time.