Monthly Reflection


Jewish Reflections.

All of September will be filled with Jewish holidays and celebrations.

Here is the list for September:

  • Rosh Hashanah. This is the Jewish New Year. Starts the evening of Sept 9 through sunset of Sept 11.
  • Yom Kippur. This is the Day of Atonement. Starts the evening of Sept 18 through the evening of Sept 19.
  • Sukkot. This is the Feast of Tabernacles. Starts the evening of Sept 23 and ends the evening of Sept 30.

There are also more Jewish holidays this fall including:

  • Shmini Atzeret.                 Oct 1. This is the Eighth Day of Assembly
  • Simchat Torah. Starts evening of October 1 to evening of Oct 2. This is the Day of Celebrating the Torah
  • Chanukah/ Hanukkah. Starts the evening of Dec 2 and ends the evening of Dec 10. This is Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the Festival of Lights

For more info, check out some of the following websites:

A few pointers about greetings during these holidays/ holydays.

For Rosh Hashana, the new year, it is very appropriate to say “Happy New Year!” but it has a different meaning than Jan 1! It is the birthday of the world and it is a time of reflections and resolutions (but not partying!).  A very common greeting is “May you have a sweet year!” and to eat foods that are sweet like apples dipped in honey or sweet challah bread with raisins.

For Yom Kippur, it is appropriate to say “Have an easy fast” because this is a fast day of repentance.

Another very common greeting is “May you be sealed in the book of Life!”

For Sukkot, it is very appropriate to say “Happy Sukkot” or “Happy Sukkos” (which is the way our grandparents said it).

Of course, one can always use the generic term of “Happy Holiday!” which is “Hag Sameah” in Hebrew.

And if you want to attend any of our holiday services on WFU campus, you are welcome to join us. Check out our website events and sign up for our weekly e-newsletter at

As is a tradition in Judaism, we ask for forgiveness for anything we may have intentionally or unintentionally done to hurt anyone. We cannot ask for forgiveness from G-d until we ask for and receive forgiveness from our fellow humans. We learn from our mistakes and work hard not to repeat them.

This yearly “do over” has profound psychological, emotional, spiritual, and even physical benefits, so try it. I’ll begin by asking for your forgiveness, and pledging to be the best human I can possible be.


With blessings, and in service,

Dr. Gail Bretan
Director of Jewish Life
(336) 758-4056