One thing above all others I get asked is, ‘can I?’ regarding the High Holidays.
My answer is always a big YES but with some caveats and Rosh HaShanah is no different.
So can a non-Jew celebrate this feast and if so, why or how?
Rosh HaShanah is the starting block for the Jewish Holidays and marks a time of self-reflection. There are several different ‘heads’ of the year in the Jewish calendar just as there are in the secular calendar (schools, tax returns etc) so don’t let the title get you down or confused.
It seems like the whole point of this holiday is to eat and it’s true that eating does play a huge part in the celebration but the real ‘core’ thing to take away from Rosh HaShanah is that you have a new cycle coming. You have made choices and taken steps in life that have brought you to where you are. How do you feel about those? What would you have done differently? How do YOU feel about YOUR affect on your own life and that of those around you and in some cases even on those who aren’t around you? Do you feel that you have done ‘good’? This holiday is a chance to step back and consider how you can make changes for the better, how you can improve the world you live in. Not only for others but also for you. Do you feel good? Do you have a healthy life? Are you happy with your relationship with your Creator? Questions like these, if addressed, may make YOU happier and in turn improve life for those around you. This is a time to consider your coming year, your pledge to charity, your will to be kinder and to make the world a better place. Your status as a Jew or non-Jew shouldn’t make you any more or less interested in raising your game and stepping up when it comes to a new page and a better you.
So that is the ‘why’ and in some cases perhaps the how.. but what about the food? How do you like ‘those’ apples?
Traditionally apples and honey are the main two food groups for this holiday but don’t feel like you need to stick with the slice and dip variety. You can mix it up.