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It is that time of year again: Rosh Hoshannah and the beginning of the Jewish year.  In addition to the usual celebrations that seem ubiquitous of all people as they celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another, the Jewish people have entered into a time of reflection, a time to consider past actions, a time of repentance as we seek to clear our slates and start the new year fresh. Having just celebrated Rosh Hoshannah, we are now in the Days of Awe which culminates with Yom Kippur, a day of repentance and celebration. The Days of Awe are sweet even though this is a time of deep soul-searching. Our prayers are for forgiveness of the wrongs we have committed as well as forgiving those who have wronged us. Before we can approach Hashem/G-d on Yom Kippur and ask forgiveness, we must first approach those whom we have wronged and ask forgiveness. If one comes to us seeking forgiveness, we must be aware of the courage it takes to right the wrong what ever it may be, and forgive if we possibly can. We recognize our humanness and seek to be better and do better during the coming year. Many of us take this time to consider and address one issue or part of our lives that we would like to improve. We consider what steps to take, what books to read that will shed light on the issue, what wise person to learn with who can help us in our daily efforts to lead a more holy life. Why apples and honey? Because our prayers and our hopes are for a sweet year. From now through Simchas Torah, the day we celebrate receiving the Torah (falls approximately three weeks after Rosh Hoshannah), we will feast on sweet delicacies, especially apples and honey, in hopes that we and the world will experience a sweet year. For this reason, I am grateful for apples and honey!

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