Our friends at Tablet Magazine have put together a great list of Rosh Hashanah resolutions from a wide range of well-known Jewish figures. Each response offers advice for the coming year and some things for all of us to think about, and do, over the next 12 months.
Here are our five favorites—you can check out the rest over at Tablet.
Dr. Ruth, sex therapist
The one thing you must do in the New Year is pay greater attention to the humans next to you than the gadget in your hand. No matter how much you love your phone, it will never hold your hand or make your heart flutter. If you want to have a productive year, if you want to feel the warmth of human contact, if you want to marry or stay married, have children and get the most that life has to offer, put your gadgets down and connect to those around you with your mind, your arms, and your heart.
The last time I was in Israel was two years ago. I’ve almost gone a few times since then but just have never gotten around to it. This past year has seen an increase in my Jewish learning, observance, and sense of connection to the State of Israel. I had a serious car accident a month ago, and since then I’ve felt a very strong pull to go back to Israel. I would go so far as to say I feel like I need to go to Israel this year to heal from the accident, to heal from a particularly rigorous year emotionally, and to put my feet back on the Land.
Jonathan Ornstein, director of the Jewish Community Center in Krakow, Poland
Go to Auschwitz. Feel sad. Feel angry. Contemplate the unimaginable loss. Weep for the souls of the victims. Say “Never Again.” Then go one hour down the road to Krakow and learn the real lesson of the Holocaust. Go meet a growing, vibrant, optimistic, pluralistic, forward-looking Jewish community that refuses to allow itself to be defined by tragedy—the one community in Europe where it is getting better, safer, and easier to be Jewish every single day. Learn the lesson of the Holocaust that the Krakow Jewish community has learned: The strength of the Jewish People lies in defining ourselves by what we do, not by what is done to us.
Emily Nussbaum, television critic for The New Yorker
My goal this year is to use the word “ham-handed” in a TV review. I also want to cook 4 percent more (I’m a terrible cook), wear eyeliner, buy a bunk bed for my two boys, go see more standup comedy, read something fancy like Montaigne, and convince my husband to grow a mustache. Plus, write notes to people when I admire something they wrote (like Nora Ephron and David Rakoff did) and gossip more.
My New Year’s resolution is straight-ahead: Stop imposing Hallmark® goyisher narrischkeit on Jewish tradition. It isn’t New Year’s. It’s Rosh Hashanah.
Happy 5773, people.
(Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
What To Do in 5773 [Tablet Magazine]