Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rosh Hashana thoughts

First thought: Thank goodness we don't have 3-day chagim here, besides Rosh Hashana.

Now for the more serious, reflective thoughts.

On Wednesday, Erev Rosh Hashana, before I left Jerusalem for the holiday, I went to the Kotel [the Western Wall], which is actually part of the retaining wall around the Temple courtyard, and the physical remnant that we have today of what was. It's a holy place, a very holy place. On the way there, something strange happened to me. People always talk about Jerusalem air feeling different, or there being a different atmosphere/feeling in Jerusalem on Shabbat [the Sabbath] and holidays, but I don't really feel it (maybe I'm spoiled because I live here?). This year I wasn't feeling the whole "ok, Rosh Hashana is coming" thing-- really, until Wednesday. When I walked out of my building I felt something-- almost like an anticipation in the air. And when I got to the Old City, as I walked into the Jewish quarter, I actually felt a change. Like I walked through an invisible barrier that nobody told me about and the atmosphere felt different. Holier, waiting, anticipating, a little more busy somehow.

I walked to the Kotel with that feeling and it struck me as strange that the Kotel was so empty. Ok, it was-- what? 12:30 on Erev Rosh Hashana-- but still...On the upside, I found a spot by the Kotel quickly. I davened. I just needed to be there-- I hadn't been since I got back from NY, and I missed it.

I feel like I kind of wonder, "Where did Rosh Hashana go?" It kind of just...passed.

So a bracha [blessing] for this new year that has just begun: May we be blessed with health, happiness, financial stability, the realization of dreams that we didn't even know existed, the strength to overcome the challenges that come our way, and-- peace. Both in the world overall, and within ourselves. May my small country be blessed with peace, safety, the ability to defend ourselves without international criticism (until peace happens) appropriate rainfall and may all the captives be returned home.

Shana tova u'metuka, u'mevorachat [a good, sweet, and blessed year].

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