Repentance, judgment, atonement, joy, thanksgiving, and supplication are woven together in a remarkable sequence which commences with Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year – and culminates during theSukkot Holiday – the Festival of Tabernacles.
The month leading up to Rosh Hashanah is a time of introspection and repentance. The time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – the Day of Atonement – are known as the Ten Days of Repentance. On the Day of Atonement, God nullifies the sins of those who have sought His forgiveness. We are given a fresh start so that we can, with God’s help, embody godliness in the world, as the Bible states, “In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
After receiving the gift of forgiveness on Yom Kippur, we give thanks to Him during Sukkot. Throughout this joyful holiday – during which we eat and sleep outside of our homes in a temporary dwelling for seven days – we ask God for sustenance for the coming year.
The joy of Sukkot is the outcome of the repentance of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and of our simple faith in God’s mercy.
May we all be blessed with a happy and healthy New Year!
– Ami Farkas