Rosh HaShanah Reflection

By Jonathan Solomon


I’ve always been an Fall person. 


We all have our own associations with this season: the return of cooler weather, the cozy sweaters, and Pumpkin Spice Everything. And, of course, and the sound of the Shofar.


I confess, I love it.  


At a personal level, my own modest hopes of sitting in my chair and reading a book, maybe with a cup of tea beside me, come into crisp autumnal focus. 


But there are other things about the fall that make me hopeful. For my children, and for me after twenty years of teaching, this is the start of the of the new school year, a miraculous annual opportunity to restart, surrounded by new faces in new places and to welcome the learning of new things. 


I know that for many birth and growth is reasonably associated with the spring: plants blooming and little baby birds chirping and all that, but I’ve always been taken with the alignment of the Birthday of the World with fall (at least as we experience it here in the northern Hemisphere).


Things get a little more complicated and difficult in the fall. Plants dry out and leaves pile up, then snow falls. Sure, the world gets colder, but people get warmer: you can’t rake or shovel if there are no leaves or snow. And you can’t enjoy a crackling fire with your family, or a pumpkin spice latte with a friend for that matter, any other time.


So this is a long way into describing something I’d like to call Pumpkin Spice Hope. 


To a generation which gazes ant the future and sees not the unfettered optimism of conviction that things will get better, better, better, but a season of challenges; not the signs and sounds of birth and growth, but the signals of future struggle; hope is not satisfaction, relief, or the joy of abando; hope is the collective spirit of effort to overcome the challenges of the world, the actions that we take to support one another, and the moments of pleasure we experience amid them.


Fall gives us an annual reminder of this. 

Shana tova and happy New Year.

View Sinai’s 5783 Rosh HaShanah service sheet by clicking here.

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