Today is #RoshHashanah, the Jewish New Year.
As is the tradition, I took my son Max to temple with my sister and her two kids.
And, as is the tradition, I fully expected Max, who just turned a very rowdy two years-old, to go bananas during the service.
To my surprise, the kid was a champ!
As the other kids (and many of the adults) kibbutzed noisily around us, Max settled quietly into the seat next to me.
He was paying attention. And he took a particular interest in the prayer book. (This book has no pictures, by the way. Just a lot of text, most of which is in Hebrew.) Max cracked the book, and ran his fingers along the page intently.
I looked to see what page he was on and, sure enough, he had opened up right to the heart of the matter: a prayer called Avinu Malkeinu.
This is my favorite part of the service because it basically lays out our New Year's Resolutions:
- Ending war and destruction
- Healing the sick
- Helping those in need
- Ridding us of oppressors
- Showing mercy, lovingkindnes and forgiveness to each other. "Avinu Malkeinu" literally means "Our Father, Our King" because it is a prayer to God.
In the prayer, we're asking God to do these things for us.
But I also think it's a prayer to ourselves, affirming our resolution to take these matters into our own hands.
So today, on Rosh Hashanah, this is my (and Max's) prayer to all of us.
May we walk every day for peace, justice, health, mercy and lovingkindness.
And may this year be a sweet one for all of us. #ShanaTova!