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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy New Year to my Jewish readers - plus crafts!

If you're not Jewish, the holiday of Rosh Hashana may be something of a mystery. It's the Jewish new year! Instead of blowing party horns, we blow the shofar, a ram's horn, to wake us all up and make us look at our lives and how we are living them. It's a time for reflection and change - for the better.

Between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, we're supposed to be introspective and figure out how we want to improve ourselves. We give more charity. We ask others for their forgiveness for anything we've done wrong in the past year. We start the year with a clean slate and part of that is making sure we've worked out any issues with other humans.

Rosh Hashana is a joyous holiday, known for apples and honey. We dip apples - a fall fruit - in honey, symbolizing the sweetness. Challah, the tranditional egg braid, is not served in a braided twist, but rather in a circle - symbolizing the circle of life. It often has raisins baked into it - for sweetness.

We spend the holiday in services and eating festive meals. Kids don't go to school and adults don't work on the holiday. Rosh Hashana begins Wednesday at sundown, and goes through Friday night (though many Jews just celebrate through Thursday night).

I want to wish my Jewish readers a Shana Tova - a happy new year. May you be inscribed for a blessing in the book of life.

If you want to do some simple Rosh Hashana crafts, here are some links:
Rosh Hashana coloring pages and apple print cards (it's traditional to send new year's greetings)

More cards and coloring

Make a fragrant apple or beeswax candles

"Ecocrafts" like a paper shofar, napkin ring and foam apple core (not sure how a foam apple is an eco thing, but...)

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