Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy New Year 5768!

Unlike the Christian ones, Jewish holidays have a way of sneaking up on you. Wednesday at sunset starts the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. (Yom Kippur begins a week from Friday, 9/21.)

Rosh Hashanah has a festive side but it is not one big party like Dec. 31st tends to be. It is also a time for personal introspection, counting our blessings and rededicating ourselves to helping others. Rosh Hashanah is part of a process of spiritual growth. The Hebrew month preceding it, Elul, is a time for charity or “tzedakah”. As is customary for Jewish holidays, traditional Jewish foods accompany Rosh Hashanah. Typically, a blessing will be said over two loaves of bread, known as “challah”. Apples dipped in honey are another tradition. It symbolizes the hope for a "sweet year" ahead. The common greeting at this time is L'shanah tovah ("for a good year").

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