Sundown on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 marks Erev Rosh Hashanah, the eve of a new year in the Jewish tradition and the beginning of the High Holy Days or Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe. Rosh Hashanah is also known as Yom Teru’ah, the day of sounding the shofar (ram’s horn). The two days of this holiday lead to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement ten days later. The date falls in the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar on 1 Tishrei 5772. According to our oral tradition, it symbolically reawakens our memory of the completion of the creation of the world. During this cycle of observances, we are given a new opportunity to reflect on the year past. At the same time, we may resolve to repent of previous behavioral misdeeds to help bring about ‘tikkun olam’ (repair of the world) while enhancing our personal spiritual development in the coming year. To this end, we hope that our names remain inscribed in the legendary Book of Life. With this illustration, titled ‘Babel Unplugged’, originally commissioned for millennium issue of The Baltimore Jewish Times in 1999, I extend this wish to you all:
L’ Shana Tovah u’Metukah!