Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Happy Jewish New Year - Helping Kids to Believe

A tasty treat of apples and honey
is a great way to toast the New Year,
that and a glass of wine too.
To all of you, my faithful readers, and your loved ones who celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah -- L' Shanah Tovah -- Happy New Year.

I wish you and your families a prosperous, happy, and healthy new year filled with renewal and forgiveness and the great start to many things grand.

The start of Rosh Hashanah is my favorite time of the year. I have to admit that this year I am a bit caught off guard with it starting at the beginning of September and during the first week if school. Not exactly the best way to go into the holiday, a bit stressed.

What I most love about this holiday is that it's like a restart button. You look at the past year of life and reflect on what you did, what you said, who you hurt literally and figuratively, what you did for your community, and the way you treated yourself.

The latter is often an offense many of us commit.

We often hear the phrase that we must love ourselves before we can love others fully. This couldn't be more true. While we may not love everything about ourselves it is this time of year to forgive ourselves for being so hard on ourselves and give ourselves a break.

This is a lesson that regardless of religion should be taught to children so that they can grow up with confidence.

I know all too well that it is easy to hard on oneself. However, in order to admit, then forgive and move past it, you will always be stuck. We are human. We may not love everything about ourselves, but we can certainly be nicer to ourselves.

While many look at the World's New Year in January as the time for reflection and new beginnings, as Jewish people that time is now for us.

From a previous blog post on Mommy's Point of View I said, "It is a significant time dedicated to reflection, thoughts for change, memories of the past personally and historically, and commitment and plans for fresh starts personally, professionally, and in local, national and global communities. It's also a time for family gatherings, special meals and sweet tasting foods, especially apples and honey to celebrate this joyous New Year."

Further, "Jewish people commit to resolutions, but don't call them resolutions. For example, wanting to lose weight, quit smoking or start exercising are important life-altering behavioral changes, but on this holiday our commitments run deeper and involve change that centers on righting the wrongs we have done to others, and to ourselves, and to establish new paths for growth, change and Jewish learning moving forward. It's as if we get to the meaning behind how we feel, the anger we have against ourselves, and the emotional and physical commitment to make a change."

Therefore, it is my job to look in the mirror to be honest with myself, be happy for whom I am and who I have become, and to be the parent I am and wish to be, and to love me. It is also time for change all around. It could be getting more involved in your community, making a new friend, apologizing to someone for how they have been treated, or asking yourself for forgiveness and starting a new.

As parents we have a great responsibility to help our children to understand what it means to believe including traditions, values, and history to help them start on the path to their own spiritual connection.

I look forward to continuing the education with my daughter on the traditions I grew up with and those I have come to love and appreciate and own in my adulthood, and creating new memories with her to have for years to come.

I wish you a sweet and joyous new year, prosperity, love, happiness and, most importantly, good health.

Happy New Year. L'Shanah Tovah.

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