I have always loved that Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) generally coincided with the beginning of a school year. As a kid I used to think, “man - the school system finally got something right. Not only do I get an excused absence for the High Holidays (including Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement), but it’s so early that I am barely missing anything in my classes!” Yes, I realize I was kind of a strange as a child, but I have made peace with the fact that I really haven’t changed much since then.
Even though the hours spent sitting in services tended to feel like years, I have always enjoyed having a (relatively) peaceful place to reflect on the past year and what I plan to do differently in the coming one. Even now, I think there is something beautifully symbolic with the fact that this year Rosh Hashanah is before most students are swamped with tests, quizzes, and papers galore. It gives us the opportunity to reflect on the last school year, our goals for this semester and the next, as well as re-consider our priorities. Just as with the gregorian New Year, Rosh Hashanah has been a time that I make resolutions, apologize to those I may have harmed, and enjoy the company of my family and friends. I encourage everyone to take a moment this Shabbat or this weekend to think about how you are looking to improve academically this semester and commit to making it a resolution for the Jewish new year.
And don’t forget that a great place to do that reflection could be at Hillel tonight!Traditional, Conservative and Reform services will begin at 7:30pm followed by a delicious and FREE (thanks to our generous donors) kosher Shabbat dinner at 8:30pm. We hope that you join us!
ps. If you are interested in doing a mitzvah (good deed) and reading Torah/Haftarah for Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
pps. If you want to be on my awesome Shabbat and Holidays committee, email me at email@example.com!