Sweet new year

apple_honey In celebration of Rosh Hashanah, I wish my friends, associates, guests and visitors alike, a sweet new year!

Rosh Hashanah marks the commencement of the high holidays (holy days), the most auspicious holidays of the Jewish faith. The ten day period culminates in Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the year that people of all faiths (or none at all) would do well to observe.

Nadine generously explains the holidays thusly (I neglected to ask if I could publish this but I think it’s okay):————————-
The “high holidays” are actually a 2 part situation as such – the sweet (Rosh Hashanah the new year) with the bitter (Yom Kippur, the day of atonement).

For the New Year – everyone is very festive and happy, Jews are supposed to look their best and wear new clothes, be happy for the new year and all of the good things that happened. Be happy for your family and your children and dear friends.

For the New Year it is very appropriate to wish someone Jewish a very happy new year. The traditional greeting is “L’shanah tovah” (many also say “Shana Tova”) and if you feel very strongly about that person you can also share with them what good things they are to you or have brought you. It’s the time of year when everyone is joyous and similar to the traditional Christian new year.

Traditionally, Jewish people eat egg bread with raisins (sweet foods) and apples dipped in honey which is very sweet to remind us that a new year is wonderful and positive and happy. (Personally, I feel that Jewish people are always happy to realize they made it another year so they have a lot of this sweet symbolism in their services.) On a religious note, it is also the end of the reading of the Torah. So from a religious point of view it is also to be joyous to God that you read through all his teachings to the end which is a great achievement on a spiritual level.

For part 2 – the bitter:
The Jewish religion separates feeling good and feeling bad during the new year into 2 different days which actually is pretty smart I think.

10 days after the party is over, there is Yom Kippur which is the day of atonement. On this day you fast all day and try to reflect on your shortcomings, where you didn’t have some integrity to someone, where you could have done better but didn’t or to reflect on the less noble sides of yourself to purge them and resolve to be a better person in the new year. Also you are supposed to take the time to ask forgiveness from anyone who you may have slighted or wronged in some way, make amends where necessary. Also, it is a solemn time to honor the dead.

Most Jews aren’t that social during Yom Kippur because the holiday is very solitary so I can’t even think of a way for someone to greet or recognize Yom Kippur as it isn’t a celebratory type of holiday.

What I could suggest is to simply wish your friends or business associates a wonderful New Year and if you feel very close to your friend you can also tell them that you will also take the opportunity to reflect during their holiday which is a touching complement. Orthodox Jews are very nervous about receiving food unless it is from a bakery that is approved as kosher and they shop there. Some Orthodox are extremely Kosher so they have stricter requirements than other orthodox. So I don’t advise giving food. But a nice card is good too.

Usually, my mom calls me (such as today) and leaves me a long and crying voicemail asking for forgiveness. My suppliers are all very happy when I wish them a happy new year.

Jewish people are always delighted when non-Jewish people recognize their holidays. That in and of itself is special to them and makes them feel more accepted by society.

Tangential topic:
I continue to be keenly interested in the traditional market and production calender in apparel. Somebody once suggested I was a bigot because I noted that fall deliveries have been completed prior to the commencement of the high holy days but I find it fascinating, worth remarking, that our production calender was organized in this way. Why is it bigoted to notice? It only makes sense that it would have been because at that time, nearly everyone in the trade from stitchers to suppliers were Jewish immigrants. Why would the calender been organized to suit the faiths of non-industry outsiders? The very idea is daft. One of the perks of innovation, first mover’s advantage is that you get to be the boss of industry standards and create traditions. Anybody else who comes along is just going to have to fall in line. If you’re also interested in the influence of Jewish heritage and contribution in the garment industry, see these previous entries. I just wish I knew more about it.

Yom Kippur, the day of atonement is September 22nd. I’ll need more than a day to reflect and make amends ~sigh~ maybe there’s that ten day lag between the two dates for people like me, those with chronic foot/mouth insertion problems who need more time to make reparations.

In closure, I wish my friends and business associates a wonderful New Year and I will be taking the opportunity to reflect and observe the holidays.

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  1. Lisa Bloodgood says:

    Shanah Tovah to everyone from me!

    I’m not Jewish, but a Christian, but my church teaches that Jesus was Jewish and that Judaism is the root of Christianity. And I know some Hebrew. So we celebrated Rosh HaShanah last night at church.

    Oh, and since God said to celebrate it and the other holidays and Jesus never said to stop celebrating them if you start believing in him, then of course we celebrate. :-)

    Challah is my favorite bread!

  2. Bethany says:

    So for me, Rosh Hashanah is all about the food. I have been cooking for two days now and I will be cooking all day tomorrow. Normally we have people over the first night (last night) but this year we are doing a combo Rosh Hashana/Shabbat dinner tomorrow night. The Talmud mentions five foods to eat on Rosh Hashanah: gourds, black-eyed peas, leeks, beets, and dates. So this year my meal is as follows:
    apple, walnut and endive salad with shallot dressing
    black-eyed pea salad
    carrot pudding
    cheese pie
    leek and mustard pie
    apple honey cake
    pumpkin cookies
    challah with apples and honey

    Oh, we are vegetarian which is why there is no brisket or chicken. Also, I hate dates, so I just bought some and I am sticking them in a bowl to pass around.

    So thats how I roll. Shana Tova all!

  3. Kai Jones says:

    The traditional thing to say for Yom Kippur is “May you have an easy fast.” It’s a hard fast: nothing by mouth from sunset to sunset the next day.

  4. Lisa Bloodgood says:

    Oh, and I found out that 5768 is a 7th and Sabbath year, meaning that the ground rests and we release other from debts, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc. The 6th year always produced enough food to have the whole 7th year. I think it’s all going to be full of blessing, partly because of it being a 7th/Sabbath year and because of the overlap with 2007. :-)

  5. AmberV says:

    Thank you for the Rosh Hashana greetings! I hope that we all have a wonderful new year.

    I would like to second the comment about this being so about the food. We had company and more company…so food and more food. I made gifelta fish and herring, matzo balls, honey chicken, honeyed carrots, brussel sprouts (better than it sounds), schnitzel, meatballs, deli rolls, beet salads, Cesar salads, cabbage salads, salami lasagna, eggplant nepolians, and I don’t even want to look at cake or fruit anymore, or pie, or candied fruit, well maybe one more scoop of sherbet. Did I mention the guests all brought things with too?

    The guarantee at my house is you WILL be fed until I say you can stop :). I don’t bake my own challas, they just don’t come out right and I know too many good bakers I can barter with instead of wasting my own time making hockey pucks. The good news is we have some serious left overs, so I’m not cooking until Friday (customary to have a large meal before Yom Kippur starts) if they run out of food before then, call for Chinese.

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