The beginning of this week brought the beginning of a new year: Rosh HaShanah, the celebration of the Jewish New Year, began on Monday. I had in mind a few thoughts I wanted to share, and every intention of doing so on Tuesday.
Then on a Monday a student at NC State completed suicide, and on Tuesday I had homework, and on Tuesday night I fought to finish my homework due Wednesday.
So in the midst of all these things, I never even realized I hadn’t welcomed the new year on my blog, and being on campus, in classes, the most I had been able to do to celebrate this occasion was share some apples and honey with others in the community. On Monday, a fellow math student had shared challah in the graduate lounge. That had made my day.
The truth is, death is a great occasion to think about life, and a new year is a great occasion to think about what we’re doing with our lives. So, naturally, I did.
Last night Rosh HaShanah began, the start of the Jewish year 5774. For most this meant traveling to services, eating apples and honey (for a sweet and prosperous new year), and hearing the shofar–a ram’s horn–blown. For me it meant none of the above.
I could easily steer this conversation in about five directions, depending on how I choose my next few words, and since each road isn’t incredibly long and all equally relevant, my task now is to touch each of them in turn.
I’d like to begin by saying Shanah tovah to all my readers! This past Wednesday began Rosh HaShanah, the celebration of the Jewish new year and one of the most important holidays in the Jewish year. The ten days following until Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) next Saturday are referred to as the Days of Awe and are a time to seek forgiveness and make amends for the coming year.
Today, however, my focus is still on the Pirkei Avot.
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.