An Ecumenical Treat for Wood-Ridge Parishioners

HNP Communications Around the Province

WOOD-RIDGE, N.J. – Members of Assumption Church here will be served cups of a special dessert called Noah’s Pudding by an Interfaith Center after all the Masses on the weekend of Feb. 18-19.

The pudding recalls the deliverance of Noah and his family from the flood, and Moses’s passing with the Israelites through the Red Sea.

“I am pleased to cooperate with the members of the Interfaith Dialog Center of Carlstadt,” said Brian Cullinane, Assumption’s pastor. “They offered to share the desserts with our parishioners. Noah’s Pudding symbolizes a spirit of neighborliness, unity, dialogue and peace.”

A brochure from the Center explains that as the ark was sailing after the flood “there was not enough food left to make a decent meal. So Noah gathered everybody together and mixed whatever food was left into a delicious meal. As a result, the believers survived the famine. The very next day, the flood receded. Today, we call that meal ‘Noah’s Pudding’ or ‘ashura.'”

Ashura is a day of fasting that Muslims observe on the first month of the Islamic calendar, celebrated this year on Feb. 9. It is derived from the Jewish Day of Atonement.

The making of the pudding is a common practice among Muslims and Christians in the Middle East, the brochure notes. “In Turkey, people cook ashura every year. Christian communities throughout the Middle East prepare a similar sweet dish. People who cook ashura at home send a cup of it to each of their neighbors, because one has the responsibility to maintain good relations with their neighbors regardless of what their religion or beliefs may be.”

“That is the spirit of multi-culturalism in which I accepted the center’s invitation to share the cups of Noah’s Pudding with our people,” Brian said.

The ingredients of the pudding include wheat, white beans, chickpeas, raisins, almonds, peanuts, apricots, sugar and water. The recipe is available on the Internet.