The Head of the New Year

Again - we begin.

We drop our heads. We bow deeply. We bring our palms together at our heart's center. We sing. We chant. We sway. We pray. We let go of the old and make space for the new.

Today - is Rosh Hashana... the 'head' and beginning of another Jewish new year. Today - we begin anew.

It is on this day - it is said - that we are inscribed into the book of life. That our fate is written. And - it is in these next ten Holy Days that we are given the opportunity to reflect and repent and right ourselves before that fate is sealed.

We gather as a community. We light candles. We break bread. We eat apples dipped in honey to invite and welcome in the continuation and sweetness of new life. We sound the shofar - a simple instrument crafted from a ram's horn - to wake up our souls and remind us that once and again we have been given another opportunity. Another chance to begin again.

And - I find myself wondering - what is different? From this? From that? From the other? What makes these rites and rituals and marked passages of time uniquely 'our' own?

I come up with no good and real answers.

In the end - we're all the same. We all breathe in..and we breathe out. We need water and food and light to sustain us. Our hearts beat. We cry. We bleed. We love. We lose. We live.

On this day - this first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei - we stop what it is we're doing and take time to listen..and really hear. We listen to the voices of our ancestors and the stories they have passed on and through us. We listen to one another. And more important - we listen to ourselves.

We begin today in this present moment....this one that offers up possibility and hope. We begin with who we are - each of us as individuals. We begin - by looking inwards and knowing that we must be the change that the world so desperately needs to see.

We join hands. We join hearts. We reach for the sky. We sing. We chant. We sway. We pray. And in that collective energy of gathering - we honor and celebrate the gift of once and again - beginning anew.

To those who are celebrating..and to all of those who are not - best wishes for a sweet and healthy and peace-filled new year.

Shana Tovah!

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Cross-posted over at Vision and Verb -  where a group of like-minded women from all over the world share their passion for photography and the written word.