3 Prayers for the Jewish New Year
Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish new year, begins Wednesday, September 20, at sundown. As we prepare, emotionally and spiritually, for these Days of Awe, we offer three prayers for the season:
- "A Rosh HaShanah Prayer for Our Clergy," by Reform liturgist Alden Solovy of To Bend Light, honors the rabbis, cantors, & other spiritual leaders who lift us up and provide us yearround support and guidance. he writes, in part, "As the new year approaches, let it be our job, as congregants, to feed our clergy with love and care. Let it be our sacred calling to lift them up as they lift us. Let us see with fresh and grateful eyes the hard work and the loving hearts that they commit to us."
- These words are familiar at the High Holidays: "On Rosh HaShanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed..." Try a new take on an old prayer with Rabbi Joseph Meszler's powerful new piece, "An Alternative Unetaneh Tokef."
- If you're looking for a basic, straightforward, but beautiful prayer to say as you usher in the new year, I recommend Rabbi John Rosove's aptly titled "A Prayer for the Jewish New Year," which closes with the following words: "May the Jewish people, the state of Israel, and all peoples / know peace in this New Year, / And may we nurture kindness and love everywhere." Amen.
As we look forward, too, to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, consider "Cry No More," also by Alden Solovy. It's about having compassion for ourselves while repairing the damage we’ve done to self and others.
Shanah tovah umetukah, friends. Wishing you a happy, healthy new year.