Sure enough, last week I saw the first chatzav flower of the season – which was actually sort of surprising, as it's been several years since the last leap year, so the holidays are "early" in the solar year this year.
I grew up going to services. A lot of services. I was adept at counting the ceiling tiles, reaching into the thousands as my grasp of numbers grew more sophisticated. The melodies became part of my life soundtrack; I hummed them as my mind wandered during the rabbi’s sermon.
One of the most distinctive dimensions of the High Holy Days in our tradition is that among the major observances of the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are experienced primarily in the synagogue.