Today marks the conclusion of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, an annual celebration which commenced Monday evening. “Shanah Tovah” or Happy New Year to any Jewish readers. I figure it's important to note important commemorations and celebrations in religions other than my own, which is Christianity. People of faith mark the seasons in ways that are unique and meaningful and which often maintain their spiritual significance. Through the years I have been dismayed at how first Christmas and then Easter have been commercialized and secularized.
I am thinking of an ethnicJewish congregation in London, Great Britain called Bevis Marks today which is struggling for survival and an uncertain year ahead. Their synagogue is likely the oldest in continuous use in Europe, establlished in 1701 after Jews were allowed back into England by Oliver Cromwell, following their banishment by Edward I in 1290 -- I didn't know about this expulsion, did you?