Jewish Holy Week



I never learned how to print in Hebrew. In script the words read “L’shanatova tikatavu” which means, “May you be inscribed in the book of life. The unspoken greeting is, “May you live another year in health and happiness.”

I grew Jewish so I truly get the sacredness of this week for Jews all over the world. For those of you who are unfamiliar with why the New Year is the most personal and serious and introspective time of the year let me give you a brief overview.

Jews believe there is a God who sits in judgment of everyone. On the New Year (celebrated for two days because the actual date is uncertain and this is too important a day that it cannot be mistakenly celebrated on the wrong day) God inscribes, in the Book of Life, the names of those who will live for another year. On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) that fate is sealed.

Jews spend these two days (which actually began last night as Jewish days run sundown to sundwon) they go to the synagogue, often for the entire day. The rabbi and cantor wear white robes for purity. Even the traditional prayers have different melodies because everything must be very special.

What happens?

People take the time to go back over what they’ve done in the past year that may have hurt someone, i.e., sins against others is any way, shape or fashion. This afternoon many will go to a river or lake to cast away their sins, to get a fresh start. Many will spend the nexrt week apologizing and maybe making an effort to “right the wrongs” they commited in the past year.

How do you think your life might change if you took a week to really look inside, to consider the actions you took and didn’t take in the past year that impacted (or even hurt) others–AND then you took action to “right those wrongs, ” so to speak? You might allow yourself to cast off a heavy weight. More importantly, you’d change the energy in those relationships, yes?

What step will you take today, in view of what you just discovered, to change something in your life?

Regardless of your religious beliefs, “L’shanatova tikatavu” which means, “May you be inscribed in the book of life.” The unspoken greeting is, “May you live another year in health and happiness.”

About Ali Bierman

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