I thought I’d kick off 5773 by exploring Judaism’s relationship with ancestor engagement, or veneration of the dead. I don’t say “worship” because we don’t do that — at least not officially. Although we seem to mention those ancestors an awful lot. Ever heard the phrase, “The G!d/dess Abraham, Issac, and Jacob,” but I digress.
Tishrei, the official head of the Jewish year is chock full of holidays. We have Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and the Days of Awe, during which is also the Autumnal Equinox. Then we have Sukkot, Hoshanah Rabba, Shmini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah. This is the time of the year, where we take stock and look to the year ahead. It makes a lot of sense to do this in the Fall. In ancient times, or just an agrarian culture, this is when you finish up the harvest [Read more…]