Friday, September 18, 2009

L'shana tovah

Tonight is the first night of Rosh Hashana - literally translated, it means "Head of the Year" - Jewish New Years. Jewish holidays begin at sundown (the "start" of the day), and it continues for two days. According to tradition, on Rosh Hashana, G-d writes up plans for everyone in the "Book of Life" and on Yom Kippur it is sealed. There is a prayer we say every year that explains this holiday: It begins with the phrase "On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed, and on Yom Kippur it is sealed. How many shall pass away and how many shall be born, who shall live, and who shall die...who shall be exalted and who shall be brought low, who shall become rich and who shall become impoverished."

This is a time of year we think about the past year, seek forgiveness from the sins we have committed against others, and seek forgiveness from G-d for the sins we have committed against G-d. It is a time of self-reflection, and a time to make resolutions and wishes for the New Year. Mostly, it is an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start over fresh.

So, to all those out there, I wish you a Shana Tovah Umetukah (a good and sweet New Year). We also say "Shana tovah tikatevu v'gmar chatima tovah," which loosely translates to "May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year."

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