As indestructible as human beings believe we are, Mother Nature has a way of reminding us that she will always be one step ahead of us.
Next weekend is the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Covid-19 has forced Jewish instuitions to rework how to approach one of the most important days of the year.
To say that it will feel weird is an understatement. Traditional holiday services will be limited and many will turn to Zoom to participate virtually. Instead of getting together with family and friends, social distancing and wearing masks will continue to be the norm.
To those who celebrate, wherever you are and whatever you do, have a sweet and Happy New Year.
Our lives are busy ones. Work, school, family, etc can fill up the days before we know it. Sometimes we need a break to relax and appreciate the simple things.
Rosh Hashanah begins tomorrow at sunset and ends on Tuesday night. Jews around the world will gather together and pray for a sweet new year.
What I like about this holiday is that it gives time to stop and think. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes and have flaws. It is a time to reflect on those flaws and mistakes and how we can become a better person.
For me, this year is stopping, taking notice of the good things in my life and appreciating them. It is also time for a badly needed rest, which allows for taking stock of the blessings in life.
For those who celebrate, have a sweet and happy new year.
No human being is without flaws or imperfections. Though many of us try to mask these flaws or imperfections, they often bubble up the surface.
One of the aspects of Judaism that I appreciate is that my faith not only respects this aspect of humanity, but it encourages us to become better people.
I find that the most liberating Jewish traditions is Tashlich. In the days in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, many Jews will go to a body of water to cast away their sins via throwing pieces of bread into said water. While this is being done, those in attendance ask the heavenly creator to forgive them for their sins from the past year.
Following Tashlich is Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. From sundown to sundown, most adults (with the exception of the people who are sick, need food or drink to take medicine or pregnant women/nursing mothers) will fast. We also wear white and forgo leather shoes so our creator will see how humble we are before them.
Though I am not religious, I understand the power of both Tashlich and Yom Kippur. One of the hardest things any person can do is take a hard look at the flaws/imperfections and ask for forgiveness for anything they might said or done wrong due to those flaws/imperfections.
To all who are fasting, may you have an easy fast and a sweet New Year.
For many of us, our daily schedules are packed from the moment we wake up until the time we go to bed. Between work, school, family, etc, the days go by pretty quickly.
Rosh Hashanah begins tomorrow night and ends on Tuesday. From my perspective, it’s not just time away from the everyday schedule. It’s a chance to reset, to take stock of the past year. What we did right, we did wrong, etc. One of the things I’ve noticed is that change is often recognized in hindsight and not in the moment. The person who I was last year is slightly different from the person I am today.
It’s also a chance for me to have a one on one conversation with my heavenly parent. I’m a person of faith, but like many people of faith, it takes a special occasion for me to enter a synagogue on a day that is not one of the High Holidays. That doesn’t mean that my faith is unimportant to me.
To all those who celebrate, may you be written into the book of life and have a sweet new year.
We all need a break from life every once in a while. It’s crucial to take a step back and simply breathe.
When the sun sets tomorrow night, the holiday of Rosh Hashanah begins. Ending Friday night, many within the Jewish faith will take a break from their daily schedules to pray for what will hopefully be a sweet new year.
For me personally, these two days are about renewal and a chance to take a step back and evaluate the past year. No one is perfect, we all have faults and we all make mistakes. The holiday is about accepting our faults, looking at our mistakes and seeing where we can learn from those mistakes going forward. It’s not easy, but the process is well worth the struggle.
To those celebrating, L’Shanah Tovah, have a sweet and happy New Year.
Between the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jews are asked to examine their deeds from the past year, both good and bad and atone for the sins from the year that has just passed. The ritual for atoning for your sins is called Tashlich.
Jews atone for their sins by going to an open body of water, praying and throwing out bits of bread. The bread is the physical symbol of the sins that we committed during the past year.
The beauty and emotional freedom of Tashlich comes from the throwing away the sins. It is as if the weight of those sins have been lifted from our shoulders and we can start again. Tashlich for me, is the most personal of the High Holidays. It is as if G-d is our therapist and we are opening up about what we did wrong during the past year. It is a one on one conversation with the heavenly creator that is not the easiest conversation to have, but it must be done.
The beauty of my religion and the relationship with my heavenly parent is that it is implicitly understood that human beings are imperfect and will make mistakes. But we can also forgive each other, receive forgiveness from G-d and start fresh.
No one wants to be burdened with their sins for the rest of their days. Just as every day is an opportunity to make a fresh start, Tashlich allows Jews to begin again in the new year.
Have a nice Sunday and may we all have the opportunity to start again.
There is an old rhyme from childhood that many of us are familiar with.
Stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
Earlier this week was the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. I don’t go to temple very often, but it is important to go on Rosh Hashanah. One of the Rabbi’s sermon’s was about words, how we use them and the power they have over us.
Most physical wounds can heal. But emotional wounds that come from hurtful words have the potential to last a lifetime.
One of the points the Rabbi brought up was the negative words we use when we are feeling depressed or we feel angry or we feel uncertain. When living with mental illness, especially depression, the access that a depressed person has to negative words is astounding. At the drop of a hat, we can beat ourselves emotionally, let the bitter voices in our head knock us around or even worse, let the negative words keep us from living a full life.
Looking from the outside in, its easy to say that we should stop talking about ourselves in the negative. We are not alone, we are not stupid, we are not any of the things that the voices in our head tell us we are. But the problem is that it is easier said than done.
Words do hurt and words can kill. They have more power than any physical weapon a human being can create.
I saw this video earlier this morning and I can’t think of a better way to usher in Rosh Hashanah.
I won’t lie, I have faced difficulties this past year, like we all do. Sometimes it feels like I am stuck, that my dreams will remain my dreams. Sometimes it feels like doing the work required to transform my dreams into reality feels futile.
Then this video reminded me that life can change for the better. What we are working for in life, we can achieve.
To all those who celebrate Rosh Hashanah, L’Shana Tova, have a sweet and happy new year. To those who are struggling, regardless of your faith, hang on. Someday, somehow, things will change for the better.
Have a good week and enjoy the rest of your Sunday.
This coming Sunday, Jews around the world will be celebrating the holiday of Rosh Hashanah.
For me, this Rosh Hashanah is about rest, family and introspection. I’ve been through a lot since last fall and have made more than my fair share of mistakes along the way. The emotional bruises are plenty. Some bruises have healed, other are just as raw as they were when they appeared. I’ve been knocked down more times than I can count. But I picked myself up, brushed myself up and I kept going.
I will also be looking forward to the rest and spending time with my family. Sometimes we just need to stop and take a deep breath. Rosh Hashanah is that deep breath.
For those who celebrate, have a happy and sweet new year.
Tonight, Jews around the world will begin the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. In English, the days are referred to as Days Of Awe.
For the next two days, we pray to G-d to forgive our sins (and ask our fellow mortals to forgive our sins against them) and to write us in the book of life for the next year.
For many Jews who are not regularly observant, the next two days and Yom Kippur (which occurs next week) are equivalent to a student who does nothing all semester, then suddenly crams like there is no tomorrow for the final.
For me personally, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are more than days off. It is a chance to not just reconnect with my tradition, but to recharge away from the craziness that is life. These days allow me to look back at where I was last year at this time, what mistakes I made and how I can learn from those mistakes.
In between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is a ritual called Tashlich. In essence, Tashlich is when we symbolically cleanse ourselves of our sins of the past year by throwing bread into an open body of water. For me, it is the most personal part of the holiday. It is as if I have a personal line to G-d and I am receiving a one on one session where I am confessing my sins. After completing Tashlich, I always have a lightness of being that I did not have before.
L’Shana Tova and Happy New Year to those who celebrate.