With a name like Sarah Greenberg, people often assume I practice Judaism. This is not the case. I am a Gentile. I was raised a Catholic, a guilt-ridden, slightly masochistic Catholic. Though I’ve mostly veered from the dogma of Catholicism and ventured into more spiritual practices and beliefs (uhhh, yoga), sometimes I long for a more disciplined faith.
“Rosh Hashanah is an important time of the year; there are blessings available to every person during this time. It is the beginning of the lunar calendar year, and is therefore called the “head” (Rosh) or beginning of the Year (Hashanah). The Kabbalists also call this time the seed of the coming year. We know that the seed of a tree, even before it is planted, holds within it all the potential that the tree will become. It will take time even after the seed is planted for the tree to manifest its complete growth and potential. Nevertheless, the seed that was planted already determines much of what will grow and happen next. If you plant an apple seed, no matter what you do afterwards, you will not be able to grow an orange tree. This is what occurs on Rosh Hashanah; we are creating and planting the seeds for the coming year. We want to have a year filled with great blessings and happiness so we take the opportunity through our thoughts and actions now to draw all of the energy that we will manifest later. Everything that we do on the days of Rosh Hashanah (this Thursday and Friday) is meant to assist us in planting the right and best seeds for the blessings that we want and will need in the coming year.”
“There are many tools that we can use during the two days of Rosh Hashanah but there are two important connections that we can all make. The first is to take time during these two days and think about our past year, the good, the better, and the not so good. Then ask yourself, “What do I want to change from last year?”, “what do I want to make better?” Also, “what blessings do we want to draw for ourselves and our family in the next year?” The supernal gates open up during these two days and by opening ourselves up to the flow of light and energy from above we can receive endless blessings.”
Though sometimes I’d like to immerse myself in Judaic traditions (I am Sarah Greenberg, after all), I appreciate Berg’s insights because he believes that ALL of us can embrace the spirit of Rosh Hashanah. We can take stock of the past year and set intentions for the next. A very yogic practice, I’d venture to say.
But just to satisfy my juvenile feeling of isolation while millions celebrate the new year, I texted my Jewish friends with a “Happy Rosh Hashanah” message. Shanah Tova!