This week we will inaugurate the Jewish New Year of 5784. The landscape will move from its summer greenery to the hypnotic elegance of autumn. This is nature’s nod that it’s time to change seasons and we will witness the foliage turn from green to a dazzling cornucopia of glorious colors. The radiance of the changing leaves is as stunning as the spiritual wake-up call of Rosh Hashanah. Our thoughts turn to the coming year which we pray will be filled with happiness, health and blessings. Ancient traditions abound and we gather in our synagogues to pray and hear the resonant and eloquent shofar’s first sound of teki’ah, which calls the Jewish people to attention. As the 12th century sage Maimonides wrote, “the shofar is a wake-up call for the soul.” Rosh Hashanah is known as the Day of Judgment. Normally judgment fills one with trepidation, but in the case of judgment from Hashem, who is known as Avinu Malkeinu, judgment is always filled with mercy and loving kindness. Rosh Hashanah’s happiness and sweet prayers echo a sense of rejuvenation and renewal which portend a year full of potential for a sweet and successful year ahead.
May 5784 usher in a flourishing year of enrichment for all of us. May our souls be nourished by our loved ones, our teachers, our rabbis and our dear friends. May our nurturing traditions of gathering for festive Rosh Hashanah meals filled with scrumptious foods that include apples dipped in honey, round delicate challahs and sweet, delicious tzimmes pass from generation to generation. I remember our parents preparing for the holidays; their generosity of spirit enlightened and engaged us.
May our love of Jewish traditions pass from generation to generation – L’dor V’dor. May 5784 herald a year of peace and tranquility for our Jewish brothers and sisters everywhere. Wishing each of you a year of personal fulfillment, joy and good health. May your apples and your life always be dipped in honey. L’Shana Tova Tikatevu!
Renee Werbin is the founder and president of SRI Travel and the co-founder and publisher of Travelgirl Magazine.