It is the celebration of 5767 year of the Jewish people.
We are celebrating the new year these two weeks. I call it the “Days of Awe.”
The holiday begins with Rosh Hashanah, a two-day period where we go to the synagogue and pray for forgiveness, peace for ourselves, our family, the nation and the world. I always look forward to the few hours each day of prayers and music.
In my synagogue there is an awe-inspiring cantor who leads an adult choir, but what brings tears to my eyes and fills my heart is the youth choir. Somehow the young people's voices singing ancient songs brings the holiday alive for me.
Then there is the wonderful melodic blowing of the shofar. A ram's horn is blown in response to the prayers of the rabbi. I remember it identically from my childhood. I guess that's why I love the moment - recollecting my days sitting with my parents and hearing the identical sounds.
But the sweetest part of the holiday is being with my family. It was wonderful to have them gathered around the dinner table and enjoying each other as I enjoyed them!
I offer my readers one of the prayers from the Talmud that is recited at the service and also a prayer for peace.
GRANT US LIFE
May it be Your will, a Lord our God of our ancestors, that the new year bring us well-being and blessing. Inscribe us in the book of life, O' God, and grant us in the new year:
a life of peace and goodness;
a life of blessing, sustenance, and health;
a life marked by true piety and the avoidance of sin;
a life free from all shame and reproach;
a life of abundance and honor;
a life ennobled by love of Torah and reverence for You;
a life in which all the worthy desires of our hearts will be fulfilled.
- Based on Talmud, Berakhot 16B
A PRAYER FOR PEACE
May we see the day when war and bloodshed cease, when a great peace will embrace the whole world.
Then nation will not threaten nation, and mankind will not again know war.
For all who live on earth shall realize we have not come into being to hate or to destroy. We have come into being to praise, to labor, and to love.
Compassionate God, bless the leaders of all nations with the power of compassion.
Fulfill the promise conveyed in Scripture: I will bring peace to the land, and you shall lie down and no one shall terrify you.
I will rid the land of vicious beasts and you shall not be ravaged by war.
Let love and justice flow like a mighty stream. Let peace fill the earth as the waters fill the sea.
And let us say: Amen.
- Siddur Sim Shalom
October 1st is Yom Kippur and we pray fervently to be inscribed in the book of life. As the day passes we pray fervently because as the day draws towards sundown so does the book slowly close. At sundown the book is sealed!
May you all share our prayers