Rosh Hashanah is “early” this year – mid-September. Actually the holiday is right on time by the Jewish calendar which has 354 days. The cycle runs differently every year vis a vis the English calendar. The Jewish holidays keep “falling back” because of the difference in days. Pesach must be in the spring so every few years we have a leap year with a second month of Adar to make up the time keeping Pesach where it belongs.
On Rosh Hashana we say “Shana Tova” a GOOD year, not a Happy New Year. We also say a SWEET year (m’tuka). Sweet might be happy but it may just mean devoid of anything unhappy.
As is the case every year our choir puts a lot of effort making the musical piece of our services that much “sweeter.” Yom Kippur is our most solemn holiday. We still say Gut Yomtov and Shana Tova because it is indeed a major holiday, we just don’t say Chag Sameach – Happy Holiday. That we do say for Sukkot, Shmini Atseret and Simchat Torah.
As we approach the holidays let us move ourselves into a spirit of renewal and spirituality.
Shana Tova U’MITUKA! A good and SWEET year.
– Cantor Ralph Goren