By Jenny Swift, NFTY-SW
The High Holidays are the one time throughout the year when almost every Jew, regardless of how observant they are, comes out of their year-long hibernation and goes to temple. The Jewish community is one that has survived centuries of persecution, and although busy and long, Jews around the world come together every year to celebrate the New Year and to atone for their sins.
Community and unity are crucial values to Jews, and this is apparent year after year during the High Holidays. We make New Year’s resolutions together, and we spend ten days trying to right our wrongs. While other religions confess and apologize for their sins individually, Jews do it as a community. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is the time that we reflect on the past year, anticipate the year ahead, and connect with our congregation and our families.
Every Rosh Hashanah, I spend days cooking, cleaning, and preparing for family dinner with my mom. To me, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are times I can spend with my whole family, relax, and spend some time thinking and reflecting. The High Holidays are a stressful time, but it is time when we can all be together. We pray, we celebrate, we atone, we fast, and we eat together. The Jewish community is a very united one, and a full home and sanctuary during the High Holidays demonstrates this fact beautifully.
G’mar Chatimah Tovah!