The older I get, the more connected I am to the moon and all of its phases. Some of you will smile, nod, and recognize the lunatic connections…
But truly it’s more about being Jewish.
Our holidays are based on a lunar calendar, meaning some years Hanukah is at the end of December, and others, it’s a toss-up between observing Hanukkah or Thanksgiving.
This year, Rosh Hashanah – or the Jewish New Year is early, arriving right on the heels of Labor Day. It’s been earlier – actually over the Labor Day weekend requiring a conflicting menu of grilled burgers and hot dogs served with apples dipped in honey.
Only one Christian holiday is based on the lunar calendar – Easter – which is why its observance moves about the calendar – yet always is observed on a Sunday.
Being Jewish teaches one to pay attention to the moon and its phases. Full moons herald festivals like Sukkot, Hanukkah, and Passover while new moons mark the start of something new – like a New Year.
The ever-shifting date for the Jewish New Year is a reminder that there’s no one perfect time to pause for the reflection that comes with the start of something new. The idea that new plans, new resolutions, or commitments to a new habit require a January 1 start date, or even a Monday for that matter, is called into question by the shifting start of Rosh Hashanah.
The holiday itself, although recognized as the start of the New Year, is not observed at the start of the Jewish calendar, rather it’s the sixth month of the calendar. What an important reminder that we can pause for reflection, renewal, and even a reboot in the middle. We can always start again no matter where we find ourselves.
And that is true with this blog. I’ve taken a pause from writing that now has become almost uncomfortable. I enjoy sharing the reflective work of observing life from this mid-point age and mid-point geography of the North Coast of this country. The air is usually clear up here making perspective a bit easier – although Western wildfires made a mess of that over the summer.
So, I’m back – with the resolve to start again in concert with this new moon that heralds the New Year of 5779.