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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.
During the year I spent studying in Jerusalem as a rabbinic student, it was impossible to escape the upcoming High Holy Days.
Following the strategy of intentional modeling, in thinking about what you will do for your kids at Rosh HaShanah this year, first think about what you want to do for YOU! It’s a stretch, I know, but if it makes you feel better it is ultimately a great thing to do for your kids.
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.
There are many customs and traditions associated with Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year, a time of prayer, self-reflection and repentance.
In ancient times, there were four different New Years on the Jewish calendar. Each had a distinct significance.
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).
Tashlich was my chance to rectify my wrongs, so it had to be done right: I'd go to Ocean Beach and purge my sins in the Pacific. But before that, I read up on the ritual to make certain I did not err again.