This year was the first time in a long time I wasn’t with my immediate family in Australia or my cousins in Israel to celebrate Rosh HaShanah.
The basic Rosh HaShanah Amidah is an elaboration of that for the Festivals. Both have seven benedictions, as on Shabbat—the first three and last three of the daily Amidah, with the Kedushat hayom (“Sanctity of the Day”) benediction in the middle.1 On both Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, the Kedushat hayom benediction builds on the text for the Festivals:
The Torah and Haftarah readings for Rosh Hashanah all connect with, and illustrate, one or another of the themes of the holiday. I use the plural advisedly here, because there have been a variety of readings from early on-long before the onset of modernity and the Reform movement.
My earliest memories of the High Holy Day season, in particular Rosh HaShanah, involve me as a child sneaking out of services to use the restroom, only to find myself spending the remainder of the service with my brother in the child care room. During the short time I would stay in services, I re