Rosh Hashanah

Our Rosh Hashanah service is on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. Children’s service; 10:30 a.m. Main Service. Tickets may be purchased HERE

Traditionally, Rosh Hashanah marked the anniversary of creation and the establishment of order. It has always been a time for renewal, reflection, and new beginnings. For Humanistic Jews, it is a time for self-judgment.

Rosh Hashanah, a fall festival at the midpoint in the Jewish calendar, and originally NOT the new year, is actually one of four new years, or harvest festivals, in the Jewish year. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur represent the peak of the year, just as Shabbat is the peak of the week. The Shofar blows, the book opens, and we examine what might be inscribed for each of us. Fall is a time of judgment. If rains don’t come, people will indeed die.

Our humanistic observance, held annually at Cedar Lane UU Church, retains elements of the anniversary of the creation and its significance as the day of atonement and judgment.  It offers us the opportunity for concentrated reflections on our actions of the past year and a time to change course and resolve to act more consistently with our humanistic moral and ethical principles.  Our celebration is based on a historical understanding.  Our services include music, readings, and meditative silence.  Prior to our Main service, we have a Children’s service.

Tashlikh and “reverse” Tashlikh: letting go of one’s regrets and guilt, “casting off” undesirable behaviors after making good with others and with self, and vowing to improve in the year to come. We suggest using bread such as rye (to represent sarcasm) to toss into a flowing stream. In reverse, some of us choose to do some sort of clean-up project as a community.

Machar Rosh Hashanah Liturgy

Machar Tashlich Service

Evolving a Humanist Rainbow Covenant, a talk by Rabbi Ben Biber, Rosh Hashanah 2012