As we’re preparing for our first Rosh Hashanah with our 8 month old son Solomon, I can’t help but to pause and wonder how my husband and I got here? My husband, Matt, is not Jewish, and from an early age I was encouraged to only date Jewish men.
For children, traditions and rituals are significant; they provide predictability, support, and familiarity, while bringing families together and creating unity and a sense of belonging.
I love this time of year; Fall setting in, the ending of one year and the beginning of another. It never hurts to reflect on the past year and make a resolve to be the best person you can be moving forward. Although Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur have record synagogue attendances, personally, we’ve been a bit different in how we observe the High Holidays year-to-year
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.
The traditional High Holy Day prayer book, as opposed to the Reform versions produced in the last century and more, includes a service, musaf, that evokes the ancient sacrifices. Reform Judaism abandoned this service, due to its musty connotations of “barbarian” rites but a key element of this service on Rosh Hashanah, the sounding of the shofar was maintained. Sounding of the shofar was retained no doubt because the very essence of Rosh Hashanah is bound up in the peal of the shofar. Can you imagine Rosh Hashanah without it
The blowing of the shofar is surely one of the high points of the Rosh Hashanah morning service. But the “Shofar Service” as the discrete entity we know today is actually a creation of Reform liturgists. Located at the end of the Torah service, before the Torah is returned to the ark, and including the three sections of Malchiyot (biblical verses dealing with God’s Sovereignty), Zichronot (biblical verses dealing with God’s Attentiveness), andShofarot (biblical verses dealing with the sounding of the Shofar), this is a synthesis of two different pieces of traditional liturgy