minutia press.
Still writing 5762 on my checks

Today is the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashannah in Hebrew. Don Imus has called it Hush Yo' Mama. Jewish scientists from ages past determined the the world started some 5762 years ago; modern science informs us they were a little off, but what do you expect from a people that took 40 years after leaving Egypt to find what's now Israel -- we get lost easily. Or maybe we didn't stop to ask directions.

I've tried to explain the significance of this holiday to my friends. My best friend from high school, Robert , readily understood the significance: he could get out of school if he claimed he celebrated Rosh Hashannah. So, like so many of us, he was a Jew two days out of the year (Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur -- I'll try to post about Yom Kippur later).

Our sages claim that most Jewish Holidays can be easily summarized by the following formula:

  1. They tried to kill us
  2. We won
  3. Let's eat

I've posted previously concerning the significance of food at Jewish events. While Rosh Hashannah doesn't involve anybody trying to eliminate us, food is nonetheless a pivotal element of the celebration. In a move that tends to surprise most observers of the "Red Sea Pedestrians", Yom Kippur involves no food at all -- one fasts for about 24 hours with no food or even water.

Rosh Hashannah has been described as a time of "turning" -- from Summer to Fall, from outside to in as one reflects on one's life, from a Temple with apparently 200 families to one with over 2000.

I have gotten to know myself pretty well, and I find myself resisting Rosh Hashannah each year, but it is a force not easily ignored. It's a moment of elevation before descending into the pit of one's soul, to examine what went wrong and to try to figure out where to go from here.

So, readers, the jocularity of this blog may wane over the next 10 days as this blog and blogger reflects on their purpose in life. But in times like this, wane is in the forecast.


I'm confused as to why Robert is linked to the NRA's website. Did I miss something?

Posted by: jim at September 7, 2002 2:55 PM

I tried to find a good URL for Robert, but he's not really on the web. He's a lawyer in Dallas but also an avid gun enthusiast. Hence the link.

Posted by: rkc at September 7, 2002 3:39 PM