Three years ago, my blog friend Katie Norcross (findalis at Monkey in the Middle) posted on the Festival of Rosh Hashanah. In May 2015, cancer took Katie away from us. She fought a hard battle against a vicious disease. She was former Air Force and widowed. In her post she had a music video that she shared with me, and I played it over and over. Her post and the video are below, but I want you to have the words to the song, because the song is a story.
Perhaps in a year we’ll learn to smile quietly
And not to surrender to every enemy and madman
To see clear headedly
Who’s our foe and who’s our brother
Just to have a little patience
The truth –– that’s all –– is stronger than everything
My whole life I’m always learning
How not to be afraid
And keep on shouting
That we need to learn at last
That it’s no shame
To be Right.
One day, one day, Lehayim
One day, one day, I pray
That it’s a year without strife, sanctions or boycotts
On a city or town, oil or wine
Parking or nothing, the UN rantings
Without uprooting or destroying, like fools
Because not every wish will be granted, no…
Not to get in the dumps
Even if the whole world is angry
When the darkness covers all
That’s the time to recall,
Soon comes the dawn
My whole life I’m always Learning
How not to be afraid
And say again and again
Even if it all looks awful,
A dread end
There’s one who guards us
One day, one day –– LeChayim
One day, one day, I pray,
It’ll happen one day, just hold on
The world will change, won’t fear what’s right
Without hate and division,
Only harmony and love
So from Latma to you ––
Have a Happy New Year.
The following is Katie’s 2012 post –– Rosh Hashanah:
L’Shana Tova (a good year):
The festival of Rosh Hashanah–the name means “Head of the Year”–is observed for two days beginning on Tishrei 1, the first day of the Jewish year. It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind’s role in G‑d’s world.
Rosh Hashanah thus emphasizes the special relationship between G‑d and humanity: our dependence upon G‑d as our creator and sustainer, and G‑d’s dependence upon us as the ones who make His presence known and felt in His world. Each year on Rosh Hashanah, “all inhabitants of the world pass before G‑d like a flock of sheep,” and it is decreed in the heavenly court, “who shall live, and who shall die… who shall be impoverished, and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise.” But this is also the day we proclaim G‑d King of the Universe. The Kabbalists teach that the continued existence of the universe is dependent upon the renewal of the divine desire for a world when we accept G‑d’s kingship each year on Rosh Hashanah.
The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, which also represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their king. The cry of the shofaris also a call to repentance; for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance thereof, and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Altogether, we listen to 100 shofar blasts over the course of the Rosh Hashanah service.
Additional Rosh Hashanah observances include:
a) Eating a piece of apple dipped in honey to symbolize our desire for a sweet year, and other special foods symbolic of the new year’s blessings.
b) Blessing one another with the words
Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim,
“May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”
c) Tashlich, a special prayer said near a body of water (an ocean, river, pond, etc.) in evocation of the verse,
“And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea.”
And as with every major Jewish holiday, after candlelighting and prayers we recite Kiddush and make a blessing on the Challah.
The End of Katie’s post
(6) Be strong and courageous because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
(7) Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn it to the right or to the left…Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips…
(9) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go
While Katie was Jewish, you might remember her posting here quite often, and especially remember her posts on the persecutions of Christians across the world. She used the cross graphic every month that she posted these stats here. The numbers are astonishing, sickening, disgusting that a people (Islam) our president says “has a proud tradition of tolerance,” and “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.” has never spoken out about the millions of dead Christians throughout the Muslim world. Just click the graphic of the cross above to be informed.
Gary Fouse at Fousesquawk is keeping Monkey in the Middle updated. He post amazing work, including ringing the bell on the Islamization of the University of California. Visit Monkey in the Middle here, and browse through her archives. Praying God’s comfort to Katie’s family.
Latma – A New Year’s Blessing (video)
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