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Shanah Halcha, Shanah Ba'ah

 

Tonight is Erev Rosh Hashanah:  the start of the 10 day observance of the Jewish New Year.

When the holiday falls on weekdays (especially close to Labor Day) there is tremendous pressure to get all my work done in a shortened week.  It’s not like Thanksgiving, when every law firm is closed, so that each person you speak with is in the same rush to get things done before taking off.  No, taking off for Rosh Hashanah needs to be explained again and again,  to people who will be working for the rest of the week, and so I often find their grasp of my urgency is, well, non-existent. 

After 28 years in practice, you think I’d get used to the comments that come from usually well-meaning but clueless people.  As I notify clients and counsel I’ll be off for the holidays, someone almost invariably says:  “You’re Jewish?” or “Wow--you don’t look Jewish.”  I don’t take personal offense, as I have red hair and an all-American surname.  But I do take umbrage that some people still pigeon-hole others by looks--or name--alone.  How’d you like to have to answer an agent who said she “never would have guessed” I was Jewish?  Or respond to this charmer of a title closer: “Were both your parents Jewish?” Yesterday I was asked if I was “always Jewish” or if I converted?  

This year my family’s New Year’s celebration will be bittersweet, as a first cousin passed away at the age of 52 (I’m heading to his funeral before the holiday commences).  You read about my life almost every day on this blog so you probably know I never hesitate to gripe and moan about the injustices I see or the distress I face.  But over this holiday, I will take great comfort in the familiar faces gathered around the dinner table, and find reassurance in the laughter that erupts over and over again. 

I pray in synagogue for the same thing I yearn for on this page:  that all of us, regardless of looks, religions, beliefs, and dispositions, enjoy a sweet and healthy new year. 

L’Shanah Tova. 

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Sep. 9th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
Happy Rosh Hashanah dear Lita and may your prayers come true. I will join mine with yours. I am really glad that we got our closing in under the wire.
Truly sorry about your loss, may the memory of your young cousin bring more smiles and laughter than tears at your dinner table.
real_lawyer
Sep. 11th, 2010 02:50 am (UTC)
Thanks! We can all use a sweet 12 months.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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