Rosh HaShanah. To some, wwo odd-sounding words you might not even know if you’re saying right. But to the entire Jewish community, one of our most holiest days: The Jewish new year. I could go on for a long time about customs and traditions and meanings and all that, but that would be tangent, I suppose, to the point of Rosh HaShanah being today and Rosh HaShanah being the new year.
And who doesn’t love new things? Certainly, they’re something to be thankful for.
12. The New Year
The new year technically began last night–after a very tumultuous day for the most part. It began well enough: Physics and calculus and then the Clubs Fair (I am social only if and when I need to be). So I was out there and having a good time and getting people to sign up and such and join the National Marriage Boycott and everything–it was great! And I felt energized! The intensity kept up in my physics lab right afterwards, when my group correctly predicted our forces the first try and got us each a hundred on the assignment! Win!
Then all this bliss–and when I say bliss, bear in mind I see emotions as a spectrum of color, the more the merrier, the brighter the better, and this bliss was a full-fledged double rainbow with total internal reflection bounding off every surface inside my soul brighter than a sparkling diamond–came to a sudden halt when I learned I’d be unable to make Rosh HaShanah services that night. All this color, now grey. No depth, no dimension, hardly any gradation at all through shades of dark and shadow.
At home I played around with Paint.net (which I do a lot whilst bored or upset), and I was pleasantly surprised with some techniques I discovered, which brightened my day and motivated me to get back to my physics homework–and I plowed through half of it without any errors, which almost returned my palette to full view by the end of the evening.
Then today. A bit tired this morning, but eagerly awaiting the only part of Rosh HaShanah services I’d make: tashlich, a service wherein we symbolically cast away our sins by tossing bread into moving water. While we were all gathered in a circle praying, I happened to see over the heads of everyone there the most beautiful swan I have ever seen, perfectly white in all of its glory: A symbol of purity, renewal, cutting through the murky water as our sins were swept away and swallowed by the sea.
New times are blessings, no matter what they are or when they are–and even things that may at first seem like curses often end up being the greatest blessings of all. A new year has just begun, and I’m sure a lot awaits me in the weeks and months ahead. Personal growth, love and loss, highs and lows, happiness and sadness, anger and calm–and I will try to my greatest extent to make the most of it, to imbue every moment with the same newness and freshness and zeal for life I feel right now, writing this.
That shall truly be a sweet and happy new year.
As we’d say in Hebrew, Shanah tovah, happy new year!