For Jews, Rosh Hashanah is the equivalent of the Thanksgiving conundrum. But one political issue is more explosive than all the others put together. The political cause that supposedly all unites Jews but -- as any Jewish leader will tell you -- threatens to tear us apart. Israel.
Today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, when you can trade in your English Happy New Year for the Hebrew L'shana tovah meaning "for a good year". The party begins promptly at sundown, so the common joke among revelers scrambling to leave their nine-to-five is to call it "Rush-a Home-a" (insert laugh track).
At home I never went to religious school and was not bar mitzvahed. We went as a family to services on the high holy days. My father always said, 'we go to be counted.' We went as part of the team.
Nothing interesting is happening on the dinner table, although it's hard to say just how many days, since as a dog, I have no sense of time whatsoever. But apparently, those are the days on which most of the atoning gets done.
As the canary birds of history, Jews will pray this year not only for blessings for our people but for a world that we have all too clearly seen inevitably shares our fate.
With the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashanah beginning tonight, it would be a sweet idea to hope for fresh beginnings and unity. However, in the wake of the current escalating crisis in the Middle East, we seem to be thinking about anything but the feasibility of peace.
At Rosh Hashanah we are called upon to recognize our individual greatness by acknowledging our flaws, our collective spirit, by recognizing a Higher Power, and our responsibility to imitate that Higher Power by bringing redemption to humanity.
Let's make this Rosh Hashanah, and this Shmitah, the year when all of that changes. Let's get our institutions and portfolios to divest from Big Oil. Let's get our synagogues and communities to stand up for the Earth.
The Torah portions for this holiday tell the distinct tales of Abraham's two sons, Isaac and Ishmael. The texts themselves are simultaneously tragic and heroic. They raise hard-hitting ethical questions and uncomfortable dilemmas. In other words, they are real.
I recently went searching for God in Stamford at the the Arts and Crafts Fair. I posed two questions: Which season is most Divine and why and what are your hopes for the new season.
Today is the Equinox! The Sun transits from Virgo into Libra, initiating Autumn (in the Northern hemisphere). You might not even know it, but most likely you felt it somewhere in your body, mind, and/or soul.