I’m not Jewish. I grew up Catholic and right now I don’t think I really fit into any specific category or fall under a label when it comes to religious beliefs. If some of my family members had access to this blog they would have just made the sign of the cross after reading that. So as I put my spiritual status on the table, it makes sense that I love holidays, regardless of denomination. I’ve been told by some people that I enjoy holidays because I’m a party person. And yes, I will concede that while I love a good party, it’s mostly due to the fact that I adore gathering with people I cherish. I also enjoy holidays because I really appreciate the spiritual rituals that go along with them, and the meaning behind the celebration. Heck, I’ve even created a holiday of my own, but that’s a story for another blog. My brother is convinced my mother dropped me on my head when I was a baby. But let’s get back to my point. As I’ve gotten older and have been exposed more to the holidays of different creeds, I have to say that I love many faith traditions, especially one that is upon us, Rosh Hashanah.
Rosh Hashanah, “First of the year,” commemorates the creation of the world, as I’ve learned from researching on history.Com. Jewish people celebrate the New Year during this time. I absolutely love this custom. I’ve often felt that January is really not the best time to begin a New Year. We are often bloated and tired after months of gathering and gorging on holiday foods, in addition to being much lighter in our pockets. We need rest and rejuvenation before we can actually begin the task of going inward. The introspection required for the new year, seeing what is working in our lives, what we are doing right or wrong, who we have hurt or blessed (ourselves included), and how we can move forward to bring more love and light in the world, requires energy. How wonderful if we could start this process in September and then revisit it in January to see how things are going. I guess I’m a quarterly kind of girl. Come autumn, we go inward, release what is not working, aim to better ourselves, and when January is upon us we continue to set those goals to support what we’ve learned!
While many people see autumn as a time of decline and demise, (though you have to admit, all done so spectacularly and with so much color), it really is only temporary. It’s just part of the cycle that will eventually bring back life once again, in glorious, grand splendor. If we release what no longer serves us, in spirit, emotion, and in our physical space too, we will be making way for blessings to come in the new year. The birth of something new. I constantly harp on how our outer and inner being and spaces are entwined, so as we emotionally and spiritually let go of all that holds us back, we can maybe take some time to go through our physical spaces and see what is no longer working for us. What can be released? How can we make space for our new blessings to come in the new year?
So my East Windsor friends may see me at the creek by the playground throwing pieces of bread into the water, washing away what no longer serves me, the water cleansing and purifying as my shortcomings are purged. What a beautiful ritual of the Jewish faith. Then perhaps I’ll go home and go through some bins or drawers too. What can be released that no longer supports my current living situation? Taking care of oneself on an emotional, spiritual and physical plane is a wonderful thing. To all my Jewish friends, I wish you a beautiful holiday this autumn. I thank you for teaching me about this tradition and giving me the perfect time of year to go inward and outward. L’Shanah Tovah.