Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Different Take On The Jewish New Year

"How would you like to observe the High Holidays?" I asked my son as I drove him home from his art class last Sunday.
"Let me think," he mused. "Well, for Rosh Hashanah I would like to do something very spiritual like go to the observatory and study the stars and the origins of the universe God has given us, and then perhaps for the first day of the holiday we could just be out in nature. We could end the day by going to the waterfall at Eaton Canyon where we'll cast bread crumbs into the water to symbolize casting off our sins as is the tradition."

"We can do that," I said, nodding my approval.

"But Yom Kippur is different," he continued. "On Yom Kippur you're supposed to feel guilty."

"Sweetie," I said in a gentle but chastening tone, "we're Jewish. We're always supposed to feel guilty."

"True," he agreed, "but on Yom Kippur we're supposed to feel extra guilty. So I think on Yom Kippur we should go to services and tell the rabbi that we didn't go to synagogue on Rosh Hashanah. Then he'll be disappointed in us, we'll feel really bad about that and it will be perfect!"

To all my fellow Tribe members, L' Shanah Tovah. May this be a sweet New Year. 


Robin Kaye said...

Happy New Year! In New York, Brooklyn especially, the Italians and Jews always seem to live comfortably together in the same neighborhoods--probably because we're so similar, particularly with the whole guilt thing. I grew up speaking more Yiddish than Italian. We'd go to Tobachnicks and get deli food (white fish, bagels, lox, chopped chicken liver, and schmear) after church on Sundays. We celebrate all the Jewish holidays too.

Several years ago, I was a a writer's conference in Scottsdale, AZ and was sitting outside having breakfast and started talking to an old lady sitting next to me. She asked me if I was from NY, so I said yes. Then she asked me if I was Jewish, I said no, Roman Catholic. She waved a hand at me and told me that Roman Catholics were just Jews with low self-esteem. I laughed until I cried. She was so right!

kyradavis said...

I must spend too much time on Facebook because my first instinct upon reading your comment was to push the "Like" button :-P