L’Shana Tova! In Hebrew, l’shanah tovah means “may you have a good a sweet new year”. Last Monday, Sept 10, was the first day of the Jewish New Year called Rosh Hashanah. The celebration lasts for ten days and ends with the holy day of Yom Kippur. For Jews, the days in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time of reflection, celebration, atonement and forgiveness. During these days Jews reflect on the past year, ask forgiveness for mistakes, and set intentions for the year to come. On Yom Kippur our names are inscribed in The Book of Life, and we are granted a new beginning, a fresh start.
Unitarian Universalism has long been a safe haven for families with multiple religious heritages. My parents chose Unitarian Universalism for this very reason. My husband and I have created a family that houses even more religious diversity. As a religious educator I have had the privilege of welcoming numerous families of diverse backgrounds into the Unitarian Universalist faith. It is wonderful to be able to let these families know that they do not have to leave treasured aspects of their faith practices of origin behind in order to be UU.
Unitarian Universalism endeavors to offer a welcoming home to all people who come through our doors. Together, in all of our diversity, we seek to build the beloved community. We stretch to understand and value all people, not asking them to change to be more like us, but asking ourselves how we might grow to encompass a broader understanding of who we are becoming. Happy New Year to all of my Unitarian Universalist siblings, and may your names be inscribed in the Book of Life. With Love, Amanda Graff, Director of Lifespan Religious Education, FUUSN