What does it mean to experience the New Year/Rosh Hashanah in Israel?

|, Life in Israel|What does it mean to experience the New Year/Rosh Hashanah in Israel?

Rosh Hashanah in Israel means you are sitting at the bus stop and it takes you a few minutes to register that the “Shana Tova” sign on the bus is a blessing for the new year rather than an unheard-of destination.

Rosh Hashanah means that supermarkets across the country boast a dazzling display of red apples and variations of beautifully packaged honey jars at the front of the store in preparation for the new year.

Rosh Hashanah in Israel means that at your local Weight Watchers meeting they are offering you honey cake – only 2 points a bite – because it’s still Chag after all.

Rosh Hashanah in Israel means that you are living in a country where the New Year signifies Rosh Hashanah, not January 1.

Chagim in Israel means that the week before Yom Kippur, the radio station Galgalatz takes a break in between airing soft rock to deliver thoughts on introspection and repentance in line with the theme of embracing a new year.

Yom Kippur in Israel means that almost the entire country shuts down – even the busiest highway is quiet with no activity on the road – because. Respect.

Yom Kippur in Israel means your kids get to walk down the streets because they are empty of cars – and this is a day when Israelis bring out their bikes. Again. Respect.

Sukkot in Israel means that the favorite game in the car for kids is “count how many Sukkot we pass.”

Sukkot in Israel means that you find pop-up Sukkot in the most unlikely of locations – next to gas stations – all over the country.

Chagim in Israel means thrills and goosebumps each year as if you are experiencing this month of holidays in the country for the first time. No matter your affiliation or religious background, greetings for a happy healthy sweet new year are shared everywhere you go – from the supermarket to the dentist to the gas station.

Chagim in Israel means that as soon as summer ends procrastination becomes legitimate because… “acharei hachagim”.