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This evening begins Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the new year. Those who know me well will also know that I was raised as a Catholic. But as I continue to grow in recovery, I have developed a deep and humble appreciation for all the other religions, but especially Judaism. Could be because I had someone precious in my life who taught me the basics.

So, forgive me if I stumble in writing this, correct me if I make an error, and tolerate this opinion, please. I have always felt that the beginning of the year should be in September. The children go back to school, the seasons change, we all feel renewed in some way.

How are you feeling these days? What are the changes you would like to begin in your life? Where do you want to get back on track?

On the first afternoon of Rosh Hashanah (provided that it is not Shabbat), it is customary to go to a body of water (ocean, river, pond, etc.) and perform the Tashlich ceremony, in which we ceremonially cast our sins into the water. With this tradition we are symbolically evoking the verse, “And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea.”

What are the problems you would like to cast into the depts of the sea? Knowing that you may not be able to do that, what do you need to be doing to handle those problems? You cannot handle them alone, much as you would like to; if you could, you would have done that already. So, what will help you? What do you need in a practical way?

Much of the day is spent in synagogue, where observant people pray that G‑d grant all of His creations a sweet new year. And this is what I wish for you today.

The season of the High Holidays is a time for an epic journey for the soul, and Rosh Hashanah is where it all begins. Rosh Hashanah is the start of the “High Holidays”. The holy day of Yom Kippur when people gather in synagogue for 25 hours of fasting, prayer and inspiration, is just a week later. The days in between (known as the 10 Days of Repentance, or the Ten Days of Return) are an especially appropriate time for repentance, returning to G‑d.

What a wonderful way, this seems to me, to renew our commitments to abstinence and recovery, and to let go of the things that are not leading us to becoming the people we wanted to be. To repent, to make an amend, to begin on a fresh start. Feels so right to me.

And yes, I also know that there are lots of foods associated with this holiday. If you have questions or problem, be welcome to call me; I will try to help.

Blessings to you wherever you are, and however you are doing my friends, and may you have a sweet and joyous new year!



(I copied some of this information from a wonderful website; here is the link:

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