Monday, September 6th, 2021
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It is 5782
6 September 2021 The Jewish new year is not celebrated, it is observed. Depending on what sect of Judaism you practice you may observe for one day or maybe two. “Since the time of the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in 70 CE and the time of Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai, normative Jewish law appears to be that Rosh Hashanah is to be celebrated for two days, because of the difficulty of determining the date of the new moon.” The Jewish practice is the day/holiday that begins at sunset and ends at sunset, Reform Jews typically observe for one day – that would mean beginning tonight at Sundown until tomorrow night at Sundown.
Many of us, especially those of us living in the U.S., are more cultural in our heritage than religious. I was raised in a conservative home – “Conservative Judaism, religious movement that seeks to conserve essential elements of traditional Judaism but allows for the modernization of religious practices in a less radical sense than that espoused by Reform Judaism.” My parents were not religiously observant however when it came to the High Holidays they were a bit more pious.
I have chosen Reform Judaism because it has enabled the Jewish people to introduce innovation while preserving tradition while embracing diversity. The Reform movement offers me a hint of the tradition I grew up with and yet allows me to live my life and observe in a manner that has meaning to me. Tomorrow morning I will be attending Rosh Hashannah services virtually. I have chosen to remain at home and observe in this manner as I am still not comfortable being in a large gathering, so I will offer up my prayers in front of a computer screen.
Religion, as well as traditional acts, are not important to everyone and I accept that we can choose to believe and pray to whomever. I share my love and kindness with all of you and ask that you find it in your hearts to accept others whether they believe in the same things you do. We need not clone ourselves – but we must be ourselves – authentic.