Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy Jewish New Year--Rosh Hashana Tova

Rosh Hashana is the start (literally the "head") of the Jewish year. Unlike the secular calendar, the Jewish New Year starts in the fall. The dates vary (according to the secular calendar, at least) because the Hebrew Calendar, while around 365 days long, is divided into 13 months.

In any case, the Jewish Year 5772 started last night at sundown. As usual, I didn't do anything about it.

Back when Jews were all pretty much living together in their own communities, the new year was a big deal. Also, following right behind it, was Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, when you basically said, "Ok, it's the new year, I'm sorry for the wrong things I did and the mistakes I made and I'm going to do better this year. Oh--and I won't eat today to remind myself."

As an essentially nonobservant Jew living with non-Jews, I will not fast this year. How can I? My band has a gig to play that day and I'd starve. In all seriousness, though, it doesn't feel like I have to.

Judaism is an ancient tradition, but like any practice, it takes daily--or at least regular--observance. I don't do that. But sometimes I wish I did, and it's still a good time to think about my life.

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