At this time of Rosh HashanahThe Jewish New Year, also considered the Day of Judgment. The period of the High Holidays is a time of introspection and atonement. The holiday is celebrated with the sounding of the shofar, lengthy prayers in synagogue, the eating of apples and honey, and round challah for a sweet and whole year. Tashlikh, casting bread on the water to symbolize the washing away of sins, also takes place on Rosh Hashana. and Yom KippurThe holiest day of the Jewish year and the culmination of a season of self-reflection. Jews fast, abstain from other worldly pleasures, and gather in prayers that last throughout the day. Following Ne'ilah, the final prayers, during which Jews envision the Gates of Repentance closing, the shofar is sounded in one long blast to conclude the holy day. It is customary to begin building one's sukkah as soon as the day ends., we as Jews ask God for forgiveness of our sins, and to remember us and our loved ones in the book of life. When coming to Temple during the High Holidays wear something of a loved one who has passed. A pin, a tallisA four-cornered garment to which ritual fringes (tzitzit/tzitzi'ot) are affixed. The knots in the fringes represent the name of God and remind us of God's commandments. The tallit is worn during prayer and can also be drawn about oneself or around the bride and groom to symbolize divine protection., a necklace, or bring a small picture in our pocket. In doing so, it will make their light shine again. During this holiday, we remember our past and look to the future. Looking to the past by remembering our loved ones, and looking to the future by showing them what has gone on in our lives since they have past. By bringing something to the Temple on the High Holidays we can do both; remember our family and friends who have passed and keep them alive not only by coming to temple for yizkor, but for services too.
My wife wears her mother’s necklace, and I wear my dad’s pin. In this way they are never far from us and their light does shine again.
Originally published on Men of Reform Judaism