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In North America, many Jews prepare for Rosh Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish new year, by making to-do lists: acquiring seats for High Holiday services, inviting guests, purchasing a new fruit, and preparing chicken soup just like Bubbe used to make.
Several times during the year, the Jewish calendar places joyous and challenging holidays near each other. What lessons we take from this juxtaposition?
What shall we say before You, who dwell on high?...Yet from the beginning You set us apart to stand erect before You. (Gates of Repentance, p. 512 and 515)