Resolutions for Rosh Hashana

Question

Does Rosh Hashana share any similarities with the January 1st New Year’s Day holiday? I’m especially interested to know if it’s a time for making “New Year’s Resolutions.”

5 days

Answers

  1. While the form of the celebrations of Rosh Hashana and January 1st may be very different, I can think of two ways in which these days are in fact quite similar.

    One similarity is that Rosh Hashana is the time when we start the count of a New Year in the Jewish calendar. Time to get a new calendar for the wall! This Rosh Hashana will be the beginning of the year 5781 from the creation of our world. To be more precise, it is the date that denotes the creation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden on the sixth day of Creation.

    A second similarity is indeed it being a time for resolutions. Since it is a day of judgment, it is meant to be a time of reflection on the past and resolution for the future. Some people make a daily review their personal “balance sheet” of their behavior. However, many of us have busy and complicated lifestyles that keep us on the run throughout the year. Rosh Hashana beckons us to take some time and dedicate it to taking stock of whether we are doing what we should and not doing what we should not.

    How was the past year? Am I satisfied with how I spent my time and resources? Am I a better person now than a year ago? Did I handle myself in an ethical and correct manner in the multitude of events of the year?

    Rosh Hashana allows us to do this soul searching, but teaches us to be upbeat and optimistic. We should be confident that our Creator will always be there for us in our efforts to live, grow and achieve good and sweet results. We eat apples dipped in honey and Challa dipped in honey, wear holiday clothing and share festive meals with family and friends.

    May we all have a New Year filled with good health, success, prosperity and sweetness! Amen.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team