Shanah Tovah, Happy New Year

Posted on 9/13/2023

My husband, Hank, is 99.9% percent Jewish according to his DNA results. That’s
pretty darned Jewish, I’d say. This fact means that we get to observe several
Jewish holidays throughout the year, in addition to the Christian holidays.
Rosh Hashana (The Jewish New Year, 5783) comes this week, just as summer gives
way to fall. Back to school. Back to work. Back to whatever. Whatever is normal
for us.
Rosh Hashana begins on Friday, September 15, at sunset. It’s a time for new
beginnings, for wiping the slate clean and starting over from scratch. Jews say
prayers and listen to readings that celebrate the creation of the world and of
human life.
Rosh Hashanah is about atoning and completing the past year. It is about
preparing for the coming year. It’s a time of intense reflection & taking stock.
What does Rosh Hashana have to teach us about Just Keep Growing?
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the pre-eminent Biblical & Talmudic scholar & former Chief
Rabbi of the UK, challenges us to use this time of contemplation to uncover and
acknowledge our flaws, our faults, our failings. To grow through our weaknesses
and to grow from them. To use our flaws as a platform, a jumping off place to
connect with our gifts rather than being overwhelmed by our shortcomings
I don’t know about you but I have more than a few faults and failings to account
for. Acknowledging and owning my shortcomings and disappointments rather
than allowing them to define me will keep me busy for the next few days.

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Rabbi Sacks reminds us that we are each capable of great good. He challenges us
to “do the good that we must, that we should, and that we can.”
May you have the courage to break the patterns in your life that are no longer
serving you & move in a direction that allows you to use your gifts to contribute to
your family, your community, & potentially all of humanity.
Shana Tova. A good, safe, healthy and sweet New Year to you and your family and
to the Jewish people throughout the world.
Love, Jeanne