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Today’s a Holiday and I Want to Wish You a Happy One

Let’s party like it’s 5779!

Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

Happy new year, everyone!

Huh? Don’t bother checking the publication date; I really did write this in September.

So am I delusional? Misinformed? Using a different calendar?

Ding, ding, ding! Answer #3 is correct. I’m using the Hebrew calendar, aka the Jewish one.

Today isn’t just September 10th, 2018. It’s also the first of Tishrei, 5779.

Yup, the year 5779. Welcome to the future, readers!

(Here’s some classified intel from your friendly Jewish neighbor: step #1 of the Jewish plot to take over the world is to live in the future.)

If you’re Jewish too (and/or reside in New York or its spiritual suburb, South Florida) then you know that today and tomorrow are the Jewish high holy day of Rosh Hashanah.

It’s like the regular ‘ol Gregorian calendar New Year, except we trade in catered shrimp platters for apples dipped in honey, champagne for Manischewitz wine (aka 50 tablespoons of sugar and a drop of grape juice), and a night of celebratory fun for two days of neverending prayer services, during which young kids fuss and grandparents fall asleep or vice versa.

Among lots of other meanings, traditions, and the obligation to listen to someone blowing into a ram’s horn (seriously), Rosh Hashanah is meant to be a time of deep personal reflection.

Jewish people worldwide look inward and begin to account for their sins of the past year — in prep for Yom Kippur, a holy day 10 days later that’s also known as the Day of Atonement.

Yeah, it’s heavy stuff. Not exactly a lighthearted Christmasy celebration. (No offense, Santa.)

I’m not deeply observant and God knows (if they exist, my personal jury’s still out on that one) that I zone out during many of the prayers.

Still, I’ve always appreciated the invite (ahem, obligation) to take a break from ordinary life and self-reflect each fall.

As the temperatures begin to drop, the leaves change, kids head back to school, and network TV shows start their latest seasons (f i n a l l y), I too can grow and change.

I can begin to drop certain negative behaviors, change my attitudes, voluntarily head into challenging experiences, and start the latest chapter in my personal life story.

So, I’m wishing Shanah Tovah Umetukah (a good and sweet new year) to everyone in my world, Jews and non-Jews alike. Because can’t we all use a little downtime and self-reflection right now?

I hope, together, we can make 5779/the rest of 2018 sweet.

Just don’t ask me to blow the shofar.

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