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Since 1970, the United States has celebrated Earth Day every April. By contrast, ancient Jewish celebrations throughout the year remind us of our responsibility to safeguard the fragile planet God has entrusted to our care. Almost all of our Jewish observances reflect environmental concerns.
It's the children, at first, that inspire awe, the infants now walking, the toddlers talking, the grade schoolers freshly combed and pressed, the high schoolers immense, the college students all but unrecognizable in their newfound sophistication. The brief span of twelve months has metamorphosed them all.
In ancient times, there were four different New Years on the Jewish calendar. Each had a distinct significance.
There are many customs and traditions associated with Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, a time of prayer, self-reflection and repentance.
The High Holidays are a time of personal reflection and repentance and an opportunity to reaffirm the Jewish tradition’s longstanding commitment to tikkun olam (repair of the world).
Last Rosh HaShanah morning, I was forced to admit it: my bronchitis was too severe to allow me to make the evening rounds of dinner and services. But the thought of missing the first of the High Holiday services was as distressing to me as my coughing and wheezing.