Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called the High Holy Days. They are more holy days, than holidays, a time for introspection more than a time of celebration.
The Jewish tradition says that every year God reviews the lives of all of humanity and decides what will happen in each life in the year to come. God decrees life or death for each person, inscribing all who will live in the Book of Life.
On Rosh Hashanah Jews wish each other a happy holiday and good year to come. It is a commandment to be happy during the holiday, a must. It would be highly presumptuous to even suggest the possibility of a happy year. Happiness for the whole year?! That’s too far-fetched and very possibly not what would be the best for you. God’s plan for an individual can even be painful so you couldn’t call the experience “happy” but it still can be “good”.
In the time between the New Year and Yom Kippur the traditional blessing is “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.” The exact translation of the Hebrew reflects Jewish cynicism (and negative experiences throughout our history) saying “May your name be well written, all the way, in the Book of Life” and basically expresses the sentiment: “I hope you don’t die next year.”
It’s kinda funny and terrible at the same time.
Cultures around the world have different New Year traditions, ways to celebrate and times of the year that are considered “New Year.” I don’t think there is any culture that marks the New Year with the same level of introspection about the year that passed and the upcoming year, in the same way Jews do. How many people do you know who truly reflect on the quality of their lives, what they have contributed to their fellow man and the possibility of dying in the upcoming year?
Jewish tradition says that before being right with God people have to be right with each other. During the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur individuals reflect on their actions during the past year and ask forgiveness from people they may have hurt during the previous year. People ask God to forgive their sins AFTER humans forgive each other for hurting each other. This is a very different emphasis than that of other religions and cultures. Religious figures, God or prayers do not have the power to absolve Jews from their sins. Healing can occur only when the individual takes personal responsibility for previous wrong actions and asking forgiveness from the person that was wronged.
Jews don’t need to be good just to other Jews; we believe that it is crucial to be good to all people, everywhere, to provide help where it is needed, to right wrongs wherever possible, to make life better.
I am proud that Israel upholds these ideals throughout the year, providing humanitarian aid around the world as well as innovations that affect the lives of people everywhere – everything from agricultural inventions that provide food and clean water in third world countries to the modern day conveniences people in the western world no longer know how to live without. One of the most disparaged nations on earth, we probably provide the most to people worldwide (this is absolutely true when Israeli & Jewish contributions to humanity are calculated per capita).
Our country is not perfect. No one is perfect. But we try damn hard. We argue all year long about the right way to do things and about how to be better. We demand compassion for our elderly, for the sick, for the strangers amongst us, for our enemies and the people of other countries. Each year we take note of our nation’s accomplishments and find that we have fallen short. As long as there are those amongst us that are suffering, that are not being taken care of properly, we have not done enough.
Each year we consider what is wrong and in the next year we try to do better.
Surrounded by enemies who openly declare their desire to see our destruction, weighed down by “friends” who use a lot of the same terminology and slogans as our enemies, it is difficult to know what will be in the year to come.
Who amongst us will die, simply because we are Jews?
Friends and family, colleagues and strangers will die from old age, disease and accidents. Others will die because we are who we are.
Happy thoughts for the new year, right?
Realistic ones.
On Sunday two Israelis were murdered simply because they were Jews. The family of the terrorist had a huge celebration, happy that he died killing Jews. People from abroad wrote me saying that it is our fault, Israelis deserve to be attacked and why can’t we all just work things out with a nice discussion? Nice.
This is our reality and yet we refuse to be other than what we are. We do our best to do the right thing for each other, for our nation and for the world. We will continue to do so, whether others recognize this or not, whether this is appreciated or not.
This year I pray that my friends and family, people I know and people I do not know will be inscribed in the Book of Life. May the people around the world not have to experience the suffering we have experienced.
A happy year would be wonderful but a good year, one we learn from, grow and become better as a result… that would suffice.

Gmar hatima tova! May you be inscribed in the Book of Life!

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz




follow me

Follow by Email


Elder: elder -at- elderofziyon dot com
Mrs. Elder: mrs.elder -at- elderofziyon.com



For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!



The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart Petra MB poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive