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A Serious Celebration

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Pomegranates and Shofar, isolated

The holiday of Rosh HaShannah—also known as the Jewish New Year—falls this year in the early days of October and raises perplexing questions for most Christians and many Jews.

Cultures typically note the turn of the year with raucous celebration, but Jewish people view the calendar shift with a serious edge. Rosh HaShannah is also described as “The Day of Judgement” and ushers in “Ten Days of Repentance,” culminating in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (on Wednesday, October 12th). These observances coincide with the harvest season—as we harvest our failings as well as our triumphs from the year just past.

In secular New Year festivities, we make resolutions for the future; in Jewish tradition, you consider the past twelve months and examine what needs correction and forgiveness—both from our neighbors and from the Almighty.

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