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7 Emotional Insights Borrowed From The Jewish New Year

shofar-600x310The observance of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year begins next Sunday night. Although it is a Jewish holiday, we are also celebrating the anniversary of the Creation of the first human being, Adam.

We believe that Rosh Hashana has universal relevance and messages for all humankind.

Beginnings are important, essential even. How we spend the New Year influences our entire year. Here are just a few important emotional insights from Rosh Hashana.

1. On the New Year itself, a two-day long holiday, we rigorously avoid: Anger. Insincerity. Lying. Hurting others. Wild partying. Putting ourselves in danger and/or not respecting ourselves. (Of course, we make an effort to try and avoid all these things all year long.) Observing our impulses, and reflecting before we act.

We instead spend the New Year in: Self-reflection, prayer and meditation. We embrace and forgive others. We act towards them with generosity, by hosting guests for meals.

2. We connect to our Creator and strengthen our bond. We meditate on the miracle of Creation and the miracle of our lives.

3. We offer gratitude for the year past and express hope for the future. We make a commitment to be as happy as we can despite difficulties and challenges. Life is full of difficulties and challenges, and although we want to face as few of them as possible, responding to inevitable hard times with some level equanimity can be an approach we can cultivate in ourselves.

4. We ask for God’s help in healing fractured relationships, and/or releasing anger, resentment, depression, sadness, and so on.

5. We make private resolutions, ones that can reasonably be kept, to improve ourselves on both the personal and interpersonal level.

6. Because we don’t carry money on the holiday, we give as much charity prior to the holiday as we possibly can…and even more.

7. The Jewish New Year is a two-day holiday. On the first day, we talk less, and only about subjects related to the New Year, spirituality, and so on. We begin the New Year by becoming consciously aware of what we say before we say it.

7 Emotional Insights Borrowed From The Jewish New Year

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2015). 7 Emotional Insights Borrowed From The Jewish New Year. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 23, 2020, from


Last updated: 8 Sep 2015
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