The Greek word, eido, meant be aware, consider, understand. Remember that if a shofar has a crack or is damaged in any manner, it would not provide you with good results. That is what God requires and that is what our community desires.
Stick to tradition if you haven’t, and break it if you have. Tradition is a very important part of being Jewish, but not everyone is a traditionalist. If you don’t like to conform, you can make your Rosh Hashanah memorable by doing just that. Set the table with a white tablecloth, serve two round loaves of challah to celebrate the new cyclical year, put out proper kiddush cups and do a ceremonial candlelighting. You should certainly serve apples and bits of challah to be dipped in honey, but you should say the traditional prayers before anyone takes a bite.
September 17th is Citizenship Day. Also known as Constitution Day, September 17th recognizes the ratification of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. Throw a party to celebrate national heritage, or have a dinner party in honor of friends who have recently become citizens.
Shemayisrael.co.il has a series of coloring pages called “My Favorite Rosh Hashanah Coloring Pages.” There are eight coloring pages and most feature children and adults doing various things that are related to Rosh Hashanah. To print out a page, you click on a picture of the coloring page.
And this call goes out to all Christians, not merely priests, bishops and Peter’s successor as pope, “the servant of the servants of God.” Sin, in every expression, is self-centeredness at the expense of others. We must think and speak and act with the same humility, the same emptying of self, that Christ modeled throughout His earthly ministry and all the way to the cross.
So, is the Book of Life figurative or literal? Is it a poetic or a concrete use of words? I believe it is both. If God plays a hand in our destiny, then it might be that our fate is sealed already. However, we are told that “t’shuvah, tefillah and tzedakah” (repentance, prayer and charity) can change God’s decree. If this is so, we can create – or co create – our fate for the year. We can change God’s mind, if it were. We help God write our page in the Book of Life for the coming year – or for our whole life.
Stop worrying about looking good. Maybe you’ve just broken up with someone who your parents liked. You feel loser-like, vulnerable and lonely coming to the family dinner. You worry about how you are dressed, the extra pounds you’ve put on and various other assorted silly ideas. Realize that the way they see you doesn’t really matter. Underneath whatever they say, they probably love you to pieces. So forget about looking good. Your real job is to have fun and enjoy yourself.
This is why Paul could say, “The times and seasons.you know perfectly,” 1Thess 5:1-6. Many Christians recognize Easter as a paganized holiday. What do Easter eggs and bunny rabbits have to do with Christ’s resurrection? This year, instead of Easter, why not celebrate communion on the eve of 2nd Passover, Sunday evening, May 10, and remember to “watch” in prayer, reflecting on the whipping and pain Christ took for us as we watch like He said, Matthew 26:38, Revelation3:3.