This is the practical things I take out of Rosh Hashanah, and Yom Kippur. During Rosh Hashanah Jewish people welcome the new year and start reflection. On Yom Kippur, we ask for forgiveness for things we’d done during the year that aren’t so great.
I do not take religion literally. I don’t like extremism in any religion. I have to respect my religion. It’s come back despite all odds for generations despite efforts to annihilate it.
I believe every religion has something good to offer people. The extremists in every religion use it for their own purposes and agenda. I wasn’t raised in an orthodox household. I am a Reform Jew.
These are my top 10 things I get out of celebrating the Jewish holidays.
1. It reminds me that I get a new chance every year.
2. It gives me a chance to reflect on the ways I’ve handled myself throughout the year. Have I done enough to help other people. When you help others, you perform a Mitzvah (good deed).
3. It teaches me that forgiving myself is important.
4 .It’s all about forgiving people who may have hurt you too. In other words, don’t hold a grudge. Now, that’s good advice.
5. I like to think about my ancestors chanting the same prayers. My great-grandfather was a Cantor in a Jewish school in Germany. I know he had to teach some of the same prayers to young boys.
6. It gives me sense of a long history. According to the Jewish calendar. It’s really 5773. I wonder if I’ve really been connected to Judaism for all that time. I often wonder how the connection started.
7. I’ve met some of my closest friends by singing Jewish music with them. So, Judaism has given me something special.
8. The new year offers apples and honey. A great combination.
9. It reminds me of people who were close to me that are no longer living.
10. It’s a good reason to get many of the family members together.
What do you get out of your religion? Do you think religion is outdated and no longer relevant to modern society?