This past Sunday, we learned about Rosh HaShana. Your children should be able to tell you two things they learned about the holiday (hint: the current year is 5777… so when we begin the holiday Wednesday at sundown, the year will be . . . )
We also discussed some more the difference between literal and non-literal. The Torah is NOT meant to be taken literally (e.g., PLEASE note that an “eye for an eye” refers to monetary compensation! I see this concept misunderstood in the media, et al, so often!). The Torah is written to teach us how to live a just life (remember, tzedekah actually comes from the word for Justice, and is an obligation in Judaism), and be better people. We are not always supposed to take everything at face value. Similarly, one of the main themes of Rosh HaShana is that we are judged by God, Who will seal our fate (on Yom Kippur) in either the Book of Life or the Book of Death. But not literally! This idea is interpreted by many (including my very learned sister, who studied at yeshivas (halls of Jewish study) in Israel for many years) as more about whether we will be included in the community in the coming year, which affects our quality of life. Will we help make the world a better place in the coming year? If so, we will be sealed in the Book of Life.
HOMEWORK: Your daughter/son brought home our Holiday textbook. Please read the some of the chapter on Rosh HaShanah with your children, and if time permits, the chapter on Yom Kippur.
May you be inscribed in the Book of Life - - for a sweet and healthy New Year.