Why is the pomegranate such a prominent symbol of Rosh HaShanah and what are some other ways to use it?
Related Blog Posts on Rosh HaShanah
The saying goes, "tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you who you are." Food is not only fuel for our bodies, it's also a conduit of culture, storytelling, and identity. The Jewish people know this well. Our culinary traditions have preserved our stories and history, from generation to generation.
As I boarded the plane to Israel in the summer of 2002 for my first year of rabbinical school at HUC in Jerusalem, my mother said, "Please, just don't meet an Israeli." As soon as the plane touched down at Ben Gurion airport, I knew that I was home. A few months later, I met that Israeli. From our first conversation, he understood that I was studying to be a rabbi, and I understood that he wanted to live only in Israel.
I am vegan because I am Jewish. Everything that led me to a vegan practice came from my childhood where I kept kosher, learned by asking thoughtful questions, and practiced daily rituals like hand washing and reciting brachot that brought intention to aspects of daily life.
Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur worship services are among the most attended services of the year. That can be a challenge when the worship experiences are not the easiest entry points to Judaism, especially compared to the joyousness of Simchat Torah, the food and rituals of Hanukkah, or the sensory stimulation of Passover.
It’s a long-standing custom for Jews to wish one another a “sweet new year” on Rosh Hashanah; to hope that this coming year will be one filled with joy, fulfillment, and an abundance of blessings. However, Judaism isn’t a path focused simply on wishing for good things; if our goal is to make each year “sweeter” than the last, we must work to make it happen.
This Elul, what comes to mind as I think about my own growth and what empowers me towards religious action is the work of Northeastern University’s Community Fridge.
A Conversation with Author Rabbi Joseph. B. Meszler on his new book.
As part of the URJ Reflection Project, a new set of offerings and experiences for the High Holidays in a time of social distance, we’ve also developed three short essays that allow you to go deeper into the essence of Jewish wisdom that grounds these rituals.
Meet 88-year-old Murray, an astounding man. Quiet, sometimes reserved, Murray became my father-in-law 31 years ago, when God softly whispered to me, “Don’t wait.” I confess I didn’t appreciate him fully until recently.