We love our friend and wanted to celebrate the new year with tribal kindred last night.
None of us are big on ritual but we cobbled together what we remembered and said goodbye to 5780, don't let the door hit you in the tuchas.
What a year, covid, cancer, wives taking off, RBG, the new civil war. This year has not been normal for anybody. So if you gentiles want to wait for 2021 to roll around, be my guest, I am firmly on the 5781 train and I suggest that you join me. We've experienced about 3700 more years of misery than you have, we are old hands at this sort of thing.
Rosh Hashanah means the head (rosh) of the year (shanah) or time. The biblical term is Yom Teruah, the time for shouting and blasting. 'שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן' It marks the beginning of the civil year as opposed to the ecclesiastical year, which is in its seventh month.
We ate lamb and dipped apples in tupelo honey in hopes of invoking a sweet year to come. Potato gnocchi too but I don't believe that is in the bible, at least not in the old testament.
The Mishnah contains the second known reference to Rosh Hashanah as the "day of judgment" (Yom haDin). In the Talmud tractate on Rosh Hashanah, it states that three books of account are opened on Rosh Hashanah, wherein the fate of the wicked, the righteous, and those of the intermediate class are recorded. The names of the righteous are immediately inscribed in the book of life and they are sealed "to live". The intermediate class is allowed a respite of ten days, until Yom Kippur, to reflect, repent and become righteous; the wicked are "blotted out of the book of the living forever".
I hope that you can at least mark me down for the intermediate class but one never knows, do they?
We actually cast bread into the shallow reaches of Don's infinity pool. This is the ancient rite of Tashlihk, the casting off of one's sins into the depths of the sea. Later two owls came down and perched on the edge of the pool, surely a good omen.
May everyone, jew and gentile alike, have a happy New Year and may we all right our collective wobbly ship as human beings in the coming days.