The month of Elul is a time for preparation, because it precedes Tishrei and the coming High Holy Holidays. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated in late September or early October.
I usually don’t celebrate Jewish holidays since most of my friends practice other religions. When I was in high school growing up on the east coast one of my friends in Boy Scouts had brought apples and honey to school with him for lunch. I asked why he suddenly changed his diet and he said it was because he and his family were celebrating the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah.
By Saturday, September 6th, we may be experiencing some frustrations, and our energy could be low. Those of us who over did it this past week may find we hit burnout this weekend. There could be some miscommunications and travel problems on Sunday and Monday. Especially Monday, September 8th, with Pluto and Jupiter at direct station on that day. There could also be money and family problems surfacing on Monday and Tuesday.
In Biblical and Torah texts, the Promised Land was noted to be a place overflowing with milk and honey. So, its not surprising that during Rosh Hashanah honey is part of the culinary custom. On the first night of the holiday, Jews dip challah and offer a blessing over the bread. Next, apples are dipped into honey and a prayer for a sweet year is offered.
A Christian on Christmas or Easter never lacks for a seat in a church. And they don’t need to pay dues to attend services ever. They can put a penny (or nothing) in the basket when it’s passed around, and they will still be welcomed with open arms and allowed to pray in the sanctuary even on their holiest of days.
While there are few limits to what you can eat, some people also eat leeks, dates, beets, black eyed beans, spinach, the head of a sheep, squash, and gourds. These foods are eaten for some of the same reasons pomegranates, honey, and fish are consumed. These select foods are symbolic of G-d’s protection of his people and a Jews desire to lead endeavors and be blessed by G-d.
To get your guests in this reflective mindset, ask everyone what the sweetest thing they did in the last year was. Then ask them what sweet thing they would like to do this year for another person. If you find this exercise a little too sickly, ask everyone to write their answers on slips of paper and put them in hats during your party. While dessert is being prepared, display the paper strips artfully in the living room.
Just before the days of Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, clean these blowing horns must be cleaned with warm water. This is done to remove any bad smell that might still surround the horn. Special care has to be taken after blowing the horn. This is because, while blowing the horn, the saliva from your mouth will get accumulated in the inner portion of the horn. The bacteria in your saliva will interact with the animal tissue and may give out an unpleasant odor. To prevent it, apply bio degradable odor neutralizer spray on the horn. The spray will remove the odor. Also make sure to wipe the horn thoroughly after each single use. If possible, place the horn in specially made stands or inside velvet wraps. These will ensure that your shofar will stay just fine and ready for the next ritual.