Sunday, September 24, 2006

Rosh Hashanah in Brooklyn

Happy new year! It's that time of year in Brooklyn when Hasidim flood the streets with shofars: Rosh Hashanah. I was accosted three times in one block on my way home from the bodega down the street by eager young men in their black suits and hats: "Excuse me sir, are you Jewish?" If I was to answer in the affirmative, they would say a prayer for me and blow the shofar, the ram's horn, as a blessing. That's my understanding of it anyway.

This year, everyone was very polite. All three groups (usually pairs) wished me a nice day when I told them I wasn't Jewish. But last year, I had a guy ask me if I was sure. "You really look Jewish," he smiled. He probably thought I was trying to avoid my religious responsibility.

I've heard some more liberal Jews prefer not to identify themselves as Jewish when the Orthodox come out -- it can, obviously, make a short trip either full of blessings or very tedious, depending on your attitude. I've also heard that it's a way for Jews to proselytize (in a way): convincing backslidden Jews to become more observant is the only kind allowed.

This year (Jewish Year 5767), Rosh Hashanah falls from sunset September 22 to nightfall September 24.

1 Comments:

Blogger Screaming Annie said...

Harry,
Stop denying it. You know that you really are a chosen person.

12:28 AM  

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