HAPPY ROSH HASHANAH 2023
It seems like the Jewish holidays are coming quickly this year. I’m less prepared for them than I usually am.
It does seem that Rosh Hashanah—Jewish New Year—which is a happy occasion, should come after Yom Kippur, which is the highest holy day–the day of atonement. I feel that it should be sadness first, to get it over with, followed by happiness, not the other way around. I’ve never understood that. The shameful stereotype about my people is that we like to suffer, (which isn’t true at all,) but the order of the high holidays is just nutty.
I could not figure out something new and different to say about the occasion, after writing it for most of the fourteen years of INAM’s existence, and then all of a sudden, something came to me. And it’s either a head-scratcher or hypocritical. What people of my ethnic persuasion are supposed to do on Rosh is apologize to a person for anything they may have done or said to hurt the other in the past year. But what I’ve found is that if they even say it at all, it’s more often than not just cursory—they don’t mean it. It’s usually a hollow, insincere apology.
And let me tell you, I have many friends, Jewish or otherwise inclined, who have never hurt me, or have really apologized right away if they have. As I have when the shoe’s been on the other foot. But it’s the ones who have 100% hurt my feelings, (like yelling at me to “shut up,” which is never acceptable from a friend, or assuring me that they’ve replaced their very defective windshield wipers when they had not, and have me stuck far away in their car in a downpour!, and other instances too painful to mention here,) who have never said boo. They’d rather let the many-years-long friendship go than apologize. And they call themselves observant when it comes to religion. Oh well.
I didn’t plan to get into any of that today, but perhaps there’s a lesson here. And that is: if you’re Jewish, please really apologize, always, but especially at this time of year, to those you’ve hurt in any way. It’s supposed to be over the previous twelve months, but I suggest doing it for any infractions ever. But only if it’s absolutely sincere.
And then perhaps your atoning on Yom Kippur next week will be a bit easier for you. (Hey—perhaps that explains the order of our two big holidays that I asked about at the beginning of this article! Wow—I solved that perennial question in just a few paragraphs!)
So, to all my Jewish readers, (and anyone who celebrates with us,) no matter how you do these New Year holidays, I wish you a lovely, peaceful, healthy, safe, and Happy Rosh Hashanah.