Today is the first day of the Jewish New Year, another fresh start for those who celebrate. For many who may not attend synagogue, it may still be recognized and celebrated with family sitting down together for a festive dinner. Traditions continue and are past down from generation to generation. For some it is a favorite recipe that has been shared. For those with dementia, familiar food, song and stories can bring calm and happiness.
In my day to day work with families, I see love and care but I also see hurt and even hatred. For feuding families I wonder if this might be a good time to put aside differences and recognize how important family is.
Holidays can also be a difficult time, especially when there has been a death of a loved one over the previous year. It is during the holidays when I believe their absence is felt stronger than ever. An empty chair at the table can be felt very strongly.
For those who celebrate, Happy New Year/Shana Tova.