“this is the first time I’ve been in a shul on Rosh Hashanah for eight years” Naomi Alderman’s Sermon.

Oof. This part of the year is *full* of Jewish festivals. As full, to steal a Douglas Adams metaphor as a pomegranate is of pips, which is an apposite image because pomegranates are one of the symbols of the season (I think it has to do with fertility). So I am quite busy but in a good way – socializing, a bit of praying/meditating/thinking-about-stuff, making foods… Making the most of the season before winter comes to get us.

For Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year which was 19th and 20th September, I attended the Grassroots Jews services. This is a wonderful new venture – services focused on spirituality and community rather than the strict letter of anything. It neatly avoids the whole problem I talked about when I went to the Liberal Synagogue – that liberals can be quite as dogmatic in their beliefs as the Orthodox. My best example of this: in the email that went around giving details of the arrangements for the services, they had *both* of the following:
a) details for people who wanted to bring prayerbooks and food to the venue before the Sabbath started (because Orthdox people don’t carry on the Sabbath)
*and*
b) details about parking on the day (Orthodox people don’t drive on Sabbath, but non-Orthodox do).
Neither set of arrangements was presented with a slight snigger (how silly these people are) or a note of disapproval (of course the *best* people won’t do this…) as it might have been elsewhere. I was very impressed.

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