Rosh Hashanah and the PJ Library

Rosh Hashanah literally means "head of the new year". It is customary to hear the shofar blown to awaken the spirit and soul, to eat apples dipped in honey for a sweet new year, and as we do for most Jewish holidays- a celebratory meal with friends and family. This year I received a grant from the PJ Library to have a little birthday party for the world. We had some of RT's toddler friends over for a meal, some play time, and singing Happy Birthday.
It's so nice to have a houseful of kids all playing and running around together. I love when RT gets excited about having his friends over. It totally makes the toddler tornado of mess worth it! For those who don't know, the PJ Library is a nonprofit that sends a monthly book to Jewish kids. These books focus on holidays, hebrew learning, Shabbat, and Jewish values. 
This time of year is busy, bustling, and fun. But it's always hard too. It's no secret that I struggle with some of the life and death passages, prayers, and imagery that the high holidays brings. I flat out disagree with some of it, and I don't understand a lot of it. Kol Nidre, the night before Yom Kippur was the most important of the year for my dad. Going to that service without him is almost as gut wrenching as the Yizkor, or Remembrance service on the afternoon of Yom Kippur. But to remember someone means not just remembering what you loved about them, but to do the things they loved. Memory is a theme woven into the fabric of Judaism again and again and again. We say "may the memory of the righteous endure as a blessing", and a blessing they have been. I wish my dad could have seen my two boys grow up and that we could have attended services together. But a new year brings a new cycle of holidays, a chance to reflect, and a chance to improve on the year before. It also brings new milestones, new ticks on the growth chart, and new experiences. Wishing you a happy, healthy, and sweet new year, Shana Tova!