Monday, September 7, 2015

#BlogElul 23: Begin

And so it begins:

I had some trouble beginning this post, so here’s what I had to say about “begin” in 2013 and again last year.

And here's what a few of my Facebook friends have to say about beginning to usher in this year's High Holidays and the new year of 5776:

To all my cantor and rabbi friends: May you have good health and strength throughout these many services, and may your words and voices be inspired and inspiring.
To all those who celebrate the High Holy Days: May you find yourselves surrounded by friends and communities who lift your spirits and nurture your souls, and may the liturgy and the music of the services bring deeper meaning and spirituality into your hearts.
To my dear friends of all beliefs and backgrounds: May you all have a year of peace, health and prosperity, and may we all remember to treat each other with more kindness, civility and respect. --Cantor Jodi Schechtman 
And this from Michael B. Snyder:
Next Sunday evening, at sundown, Jews around the world will celebrate Rosh Hashanah 5776, the beginning of the last year of the 304th 19-year cycle since creation. Rosh Hashanah begins the 10 Days of Awe leading up to the 25-hour fast for Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The fast begins 18 minutes before local sundown, and runs until 42 minutes after sundown the next night. Five days after Yom Kippur is the eight-day fall harvest festival of Sukkot (Booths to our Christian friends). And on the Sabbath following the end of Sukkot we begin the annual or triennial sequence of Torah readings with the story of creation from the opening of Sefer B'reishit / The Book of Genesis. It will be a month of observances which, despite the solemnity of the Ten Days of Awe, if filled with rejoicing in the lives of Jews as a whole. For my family and friends who are Jewish I wish you a sweet new year and an easy fast. To all my non-Jewish family and friends I wish only God's blessings upon you all
Shana tova u’metukah!

Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima, this #BlogElul post is one in a series marking the days of the Hebrew month of Elul, which precedes the Jewish High Holidays and traditionally serves as a time of reflection and spiritual preparation for the new year.