New Year

High Holidays: Rosh Hashanah and New Beginnings

L’Shana tova! Happy New Year! Rosh Hashanah and the Days of Awe are upon us as we stand at the beginning of new things, new activities and a new year. What are you hoping for? What will you choose for yourself? How will you live into this opportunity before you?

Join Lee Ann (whether you are Jewish or not!) as she offers a short reflection on Rosh Hashanah.

Meditation resources are from Gates of Repentance: The New Union Prayerbook for the Days of Awe.

Maimonides (Sephardic Jewish philosopher and Torah scholar from the 12 century) quotes:

“Freewill is given to every human being. If we wish to incline ourselves toward goodness and righteousness, we are free to do so; and if we wish to incline ourselves toward evil, we are also free to do that. From Scripture (Genesis 3:22) we learn that the human species, with its knowledge of good and evil, is unique among all earth’s creatures. Of our own accord, by our own faculty of intelligence and understanding, we can distinguish between good and evil, doing as we choose.  Nothing holds us back from making this choice between good and evil—the power is in our hands.” 

“Every human being has merits and faults. The righteous person has more merits than faults, the wicked one more faults than merits.  The average person is (more or less) evenly balanced between the two.  A community, too, is judged in this manner: if the merits of its citizens outweigh their faults, it is called righteous; if their faults outweigh their merits, it is called wicked.”

Rabbi John D. Rayner quote:

“From year to year the need becomes more urgent for a religion that teaches reverence for life as its highest principle. Judaism is such a religion. The God it worships does not desire the death of sinners, but that they may turn and live. That God’s word is ‘Seek Me and live,’ and ‘Choose life.’ It is a religion which teaches that to destroy a single life is to destroy an entire world, and to sustain a single life is to sustain an entire world. It is a religion that yearns, above all things, for the day when swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning-hooks… It is a religion whose New Year is a celebration of life and a plea for its continuance; ‘Remember us unto life, O King who delights in life, and inscribe us in the Book of Life, for Your sake, O God of Life.’”


If you missed the first in the High Holidays series, you can find it by clicking this link.

Lee Ann will be offering a FREE workshop based on her book, You Are All That: Creating a Great Life with Affirmations at Sacred Circle Books, 919 King Street, Alexandria, VA on SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15th, 2:00 p.m. To attend this free event, please RSVP with Sacred Circle Books by Friday, October 13th at (703) 299-9309. Look forward to seeing you there!

About the Author Lee Ann Hopkins

"Smile and the world smiles with you." That's the motto she lives by. Lee Ann is perfectly imperfect and unabashed about it even as she strives for higher and "better" every day. Both her can-do and her foibles are as fabulous as her smile. So take a moment and breathe in Lee Ann's "hooray" for today! Ms. Hopkins is host of the podcast Hooray Weekly, founder of The Hooray Daily and Hooray Living, a speaker, writer and do-gooder, who believe-it-or-not has been a public-interest attorney and clergywoman for longer than she cares to admit. Check out her books, You Are All That: Creating a Great Life with Affirmations, and Hooray for You: 365 Get-Up-and-Go-Go Quotes for Your Year. When you write her, send along a clergy and attorney joke. She loves 'em!

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