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Happy Rosh Hashana from Jerusalemite

by michael September 29 2008
HolidaysThings to do
Rosh Hashana gifts
 The Rosh Hashana gift baskets pile up in the streets

It's Erev Rosh Hashana (the day before the beginning of the Jewish New Year) in Jerusalem. Shoppers are shoving their way through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowds in the shuk to stock up on food for the two-day festival. Traffic chokes the roads as everyone sets off to spend the holiday with family. In the city's hundreds of synagogues, rabbis prepare their yearly homily on Rosh Hashana's opportunities for renewal and repentance. In a few hours, the city will be deserted, almost every shop and restaurant in West Jerusalem closed, the synagogues full and the streets quiet.

5769 is descending upon us all, and what better way to commemorate the birth of the new year by taking a quiet walk around the city built around the spot where, according to the Jewish religion, the world began? Walk through the Old City. Mingle with the crowds at the Kotel. Hike up to the top of the Mount of Olives and look down on the city spread out before you. Take in its subtle grandeur, its amazing stillness on the holy day, and appreciate the fact that you're in the only country in the entire world whose pulse is dictated by the Jewish calendar.

So start dipping those apples in that honey, and may your 5769 be especially sweet and fruitful.

Image courtesy of switch_1010 from Flickr under a Creative Commons License.
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