Sunday, September 16 is Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year. It’s a time when we greet each other with “L’shanah tovah,” which means, “To a good year.” It’s also the most spectacular sugar-high of the year. We eat apples and honey, devour our bubbe’s honey cakes, teglach (honey balls) and a table […]
Happy New Year! The Jewish New Year, that is. It’s September, the end of summer, the beginning of school, and— according to the Jewish calendar—the 5769th year since God created the heavens and the earth. On the Gregorian calendar, Rosh Hashanah (literally head of the year”) spans 24 hours, commencing at sunset on September 29. […]
Yes, we know, there are several months left in 2007. According to the Hebrew calendar, however, it is soon to be the year 5768. The Hebrew calendar differs from the one most people use, first because it calculates how many years have passed since Creation, according to Jewish tradition. Also, the names of the Hebrew […]
“What special day do we celebrate next?” said a little girl to her father as she climbed into his lap. “Well, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot come just after summer,” he replied. By her unmoved expression he gathered that she was not terribly impressed. This was no surprise since she had only been four years old at last year’s services. Still, he had hoped that she would show a spark of interest, have some memory of the fall festivals. Was her lack of interest due to the relatively small Jewish community in their town? Or perhaps he’d not been intentional enough to balance his non-Jewish spouse’s inexperience with Jewish traditions. Whatever the case, one thing was certain: he was feeling stirrings of guilt. “Well,” he began, “Rosh Hashanah is . . . ,” but before he could finish, she had wriggled out of his lap and run out of the living room.
We don’t always know how the resolutions we make may one day guard our hearts—or even our bodies—as I discovered at the Israel in the Garden” celebration in San Francisco. It is amazing how many ways people can make their displeasure known when you are handing out gospel tracts in public, and after some 30 […]
What childhood images do the High Holidays stir in your memory? I remember my impatience over the seemingly endless synagogue services balanced with the excitement of knowing something special was happening. Then there was the unusual sight of Jews in uniform, piling in from a nearby naval base to worship with us. They helped pack […]
“May your name be inscribed in the Book of Life” is the most common greeting for the Jewish New Year season. From the time of Moses onward, the roll call of the redeemed has been closely linked with atonement (reconciliation with God). The Book of Life held much meaning for other world religions as well. […]