Everyone will have their own favorites
Some will say the blowing of the Shofar. Others will say the Simanim at the evening meals. Some the candle lighting. Some the Prayers. Some the songs or sweets. Some the Torah reading. Some the stories. Some the idea that we can start with a clean slate. Some that we didn’t die the past year.
For me, the highlight is the Prayers. The essence is the Standing Prayer. Praying for a better future for all of humanity, Jews first. Before Corona, I would spend more than 12 hours saying these prayers over two days.
The essence thereof is the First Blessing. I say it thrice daily (and now and then four or five times). What should win the day is not the spectacle of the Day, but the daily, ongoing, persistent declaring of our beliefs.
For me, it’s the first word, meaning ‘Source of all Blessings’ that’s the most special. The first time in the New Year’s Prayers, typically, I burst into tears. Is it the Holiness of the Day? Or because I finally say it slowly enough to notice what I’m saying? Am I being judged in Heaven? I can’t tell you.
Even the first Letter, the second of the Hebrew alphabet, is loaded with meaning. That we’re put into a world of contrasts and dualities but only to unite, with only one goal, to become more moral, our True Selves.
In the middle of this Beit, there is a dot. Now, here, it all depends on us.
Happy New Year.