Sorry, no recipe this time. I just have some thoughts on the new year and some Jewish traditions.
I have never been a big new years person. The thought of a fresh start hits me more in the fall than in January. So, I have always been confused as to why it means so much to some people. Resolutions and parties have never been my two favorite things.
But, as a fan of the Maccabeats, I have found their "Book of Good Life" video (found below) a bit compelling. I have always been interested in other religions and Judaism has been a particular interest since it is the faith that mine has grown out of. And while for the most part our religions are different (I don't believe I can earn a place in God's grace. Thank you Jesus!) there are many values we can bring from their beliefs and festivals.
The Maccabeats are from Yeshiva University and have put together an a Capella group that sings some traditional Jewish hymns as well as current songs with the words changed. They have two songs about Hanukkah, one about Purim, and one about Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur.
Rosh Hashanah is the New Year on the Jewish calendar. There is a sort of celebration while everyone becomes excited for the new year. This is followed by the Days of Awe. This is a week of looking inward to see how you have, well, failed in the past year to be the person God has made you. This is then followed by Yom Kippur which is the day of atonement. After a week of self reflection and change, you are then cleansed of your sins.
(Please note, I am not Jewish nor have I ever been. This is my understanding of the holidays after some classes and limited internet research.)
In the "Book of Good Life" video, there can be presented to Christians a new look on the purpose of new year. Instead of making quick resolutions that are usually focused on weight or personal health, let's take the days between Christmas and New Year's to really reflect on what we can do to make ourselves better people that do more for others and draw ourselves closer to God.
Let me again reiterate, I am a Jesus believer and follower. I believe he has died in my place and offered me atonement with God. Thank you Jesus for offering me grace and mercy! And, thank you Maccabeats for making Judaism a bit more understandable
Maccabeats "Book of Good Life"