זִכְרוֹן תְּרוּעָה מִקְרָא-קֹדֶשׁ
Here’s the biblical command to observe Rosh Hashanah, found in Leviticus 23: “Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest unto you, a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns, a holy convocation. Ye shall do no manner of servile work; and ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD.”
(If you want some information and my take on the more traditional moments of the holiday, I wrote about them last year.)
This year: As always, I’m skipping the contemplation of the burnt offering (although the Chasidic service that I will attend again this year doesn’t — it spends a lot of time discussing how it was done, challenging even my extreme liturgy love), but I’ve got a lot of solemn resting to do. I need to think and feel about the lessons this year finally offered about liberation, about the way that even as certain situations deteriorated in ways that looked like they were going to trap me even more decisively, G-d told me G-d wanted to break my yoke, and — I think — did. Things are still shaking out. I need to remember that I’m always in way too much of a hurry for G-d, that G-d does things on G-d’s time. But I feel free in a way I haven’t in years now. We actually pray every day “sound the great shofar for our freedom,” but I think I’ve heard that message this year more clearly than ever.
So what’s the next step?
Requests to G-d to deal with us mercifully — this process begins on Rosh Hashanah and continues for the next ten days. And then we sing a prayer with this chorus, “Our Father, Our King, be gracious to us and answer us, for we are wanting in good deeds. Treat us with charity and lovingkindness, and save us.”
And then, tomorrow, I’m anticipating, anyway, that I will be thinking about Genesis 21, which is the Torah reading for the day. In this portion, Sarah laughs at the idea that she will conceive at her advanced age, but G-d makes her do so anyway.
I’m wondering if — praying that — G-d will make me (metaphorically) fruitful according to G-d’s plan, too, in spite of everything.
I think this year, I’m feeling more like this version of “Avinu Malkenu” by Phish, with its contemplative beginning and the uptempo switch into 5/4 about two-thirds of the way through:
So I’m signing off posting till Tuesday night, I think, though my mother’s situation forbids me from absenting myself from the computer completely this year. If you need something to read, check out some of the stuff I’ve published recently (I feel like I’m finally getting somewhere in terms of expressing what’s going on my head), or the Legenda posts, which cover what others are writing, or Jazzy’s commentary on this particular new Richard Armitage Confession, or FedoraLady’s post on what we can expect from Tolkien Week this year, including a new trailer for The Hobbit, to appear on September 19. Lots to enjoy — even if you’re not celebrating the New Year.
And for those who are: May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year!