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rosh hashanah
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Medved: Happy renewed year!

n Orthodox Jew blows a horn called a shofar, which is part of the Rosh Hashanah tradition. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, emphasizes the chance to make fresh starts and turn our behavior in better directions. Among other things, the holiday — celebrated this year beginning on September 30 — commemorates the creation of the world, and we’re supposed to see that world with fresh eyes and enhanced gratitude.

Medved: True joy is serious business

There’s a blessing pronounced on each new experience — like the foods we eat — for the first time in the new year, thanking God who has “kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.” We mean to echo the Almighty, who, in the Biblical account reviewed his own work of creation “and saw that it was good.”

In this sense, we see our world as refreshed and reborn: not just a “new year” but a “renewed year” — to begin again to make the most of the abundant gifts we’ve each received.

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