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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.
High Holidays services came and went, and I missed them. The New Year had barely begun and already I had this serious transgression on my 5770 scorecard. Tashlich would be 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, I would read up on the ritual to make certain I would not err again.
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.