Monday, October 3, 2022
Monday, October 3, 2022
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A Good Year: Ready or Not, Here Comes Rosh Hashanah


Judy Lash Belint

JNS, Sept. 21, 2022

“On any given night between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, many of Israel’s most popular singers may be found in sold-out venues all over the country, reviving the ancient melodies from all corners of the Jewish world.”

Anyone venturing into the shuk or even a local supermarket in Israel this week could be forgiven for thinking that the country was about to run out of food. Shoppers laden with huge nylon bags of every kind of produce, fish, meat and bread may be seen staggering under the weight of their purchases, secure in the knowledge that they have sufficient provisions for the two days when stores close for the holiday.

In contrast, many Israelis living below the poverty line will be relying on the abundance of organizations serving those in need for their basic holiday supplies.

Certain foods are traditional to eat on Rosh Hashanah and the markets are full of the most beautiful pomegranates, succulent dates and crisp apples. Almost all the produce is local—pomegranate trees grow everywhere, even in private gardens; dates are from the Jordan Valley and apples from the Golan.

For some, the two-day Jerusalem shutdown of entertainment and shopping is a little much. One of my more secular neighbors informed me she’s running off to a hotel in Tel Aviv for the duration. Tel Aviv’s beaches are generally packed on every holy day. 

Other secular Israelis, however, are intrigued by the pre-Rosh Hashanah traditions. Nightly selichot tours take place in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, the Bukharan Quarter, Nachlat Shiva and Nachlaot neighborhoods. Swarms of Israelis who generally spend as little time as possible in any synagogue suddenly get nostalgic about the sights and sounds of other faithful Jews who crowd into the quaint synagogues of these old Jerusalem neighborhoods to butter up God before the High Holidays with late-night prayers. It’s the Sephardic congregations that host the most melodic recitations of penitential prayers and poetry in the month before Yom Kippur. …  SOURCE


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