by Susan Davis
We live in a pluralistic community here in southeast Seattle. Even how we celebrate time varies.
According to the Gregorian (standard) calendar, the new year started on January 1, 2021. But the Ethiopian New Year starts Sept. 11 and the year will be 2013. Islam just celebrated New Year the second week of August and it’s now 1443. Chinese Lunar New Year was in February and it’s 4719. The Hindi New Year of 2078 happened in April.
Some calendars are solar, or solar-lunar, while others are lunar based. You get the idea: Time is measured, explained, and observed differently around the world and, therefore, here in the South End, too.
Continue reading Rosh Hashanah Reflection: Measuring and Celebrating Time
by Joy Resmovits
One of the biggest privileges of being Jewish in moments like these, when the world feels like it’s caving in on itself, is that we get to ring in a new year in the middle of the fall. Yes, it marks a time of serious spiritual self-questioning and atonement, with hours-long services and liturgy replete with some stone-cold allusions to who will die and who gets to live another year. New Year’s Eve it is not.
But ultimately, we dress up our tables with fish heads (for a new start), pomegranates (filled with seeds that supposedly equal the number of mitzvoth, or good deeds, but don’t try to count them …), and apples dipped in honey (to bless our year with sweetness) and get to wave a fond farewell to 5,781, the current year of the Jewish lunar calendar.
Since it’s a time of reflection, I’m looking at the past to illuminate the future. And what I’m realizing on the eve of this time-bound holiday — which, quite strangely, falls on Labor Day this year — is that our clocks are broken. No, not our Fitbits, our internal clocks. Since 2019, our lives have been compressed into an unnatural pattern of bursts of change and excruciating stasis. We are, simply put, out of sync with the passage of time. On top of the grief and inequalities that compound on a daily basis, the compressed way in which we are forced to take in life’s IRL splendors — for those of us who are lucky to not be immunocompromised — is grinding us down. Numbing us. This is the season of quitting, haven’t you heard?
Continue reading Rosh Hashanah Reflection: Recapturing Hope