Guest post by Lisa Leshaw
We're all familiar with the greeting 'Happy New Year'. We associate it with January 1st around the world.
There's another time that we wish people a Happy New Year and that's in the Jewish religion on the start of one of its High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah.
In the Jewish calendar, this will mark the New Year 5783. Rosh Hashanah begins on September 25th and ends on the 27th. This inspirational holiday honors the creation of Adam and Eve and celebrates the anniversary of their existence.
Festivities range from the blowing of the shofar (ram's horn), candle-lighting ceremonies, casting away of sins, to trying new things, and eating delicious delicacies like apples and honey, challah bread dipped in honey and delectable fruits, all of which symbolize the promise of a sweet New Year.
We pray as a community a sacred prayer during Rosh Hashanah;
Blessed Are You, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who Brings Forth Bread From the Earth.
Rosh Hashanah leads to the most solemn and holiest of all days in the Jewish culture, Yom Kippur, which is a time of repentance for one's sins.
So if you see a Jewish neighbor or friend in the coming weeks, smile and wish them a Happy New Year. They'll appreciate your gracious good wishes and maybe even invite you in to hear the shofar sound. After all, when we share our tables with friends of different faiths, we build bridges for tomorrow and surely that makes God happy.