Happy Fall Equinox and Rosh Hashanah!

The Fall Equinox, on Thursday, September 22nd, marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the Southern Hemisphere. We label this event the autumnal equinox because the sun crosses the equator from north to south. This means that nights last longer than days due to less daylight each day.

As the daylight hours change, the weather will change in Virginia, with cooler days ahead and the colorful transformation of our landscape, reminding us of another seasonal transition. Historically, this time also signified a period for farmers to begin their final harvest.

And with the seasons changing, we have exciting celebrations ahead of us, such as Rosh Hashanah!

Rosh Hashanah is a Jewish holiday from Sunday, September 25, 2022, to Tuesday, September 27, 2022. It is a New Year celebration for family and friends with special foods and worship, a time to contemplate the past year and to identify growth opportunities.

Some traditions include eating challah, a circular bread loaf that symbolizes the cycles and seasons of life, and pomegranate, which has many seeds that represent the hopefulness for an abundance of energy and spirit. There are also services, prayers, blessings, and moments of reflection to commemorate the year that has been and will be.

Rosh Hashanah and the autumnal equinox can also serve as an opportunity for communities to come together and address harmful changes, such as the climate crisis.

We congratulate our legislators and activists for the climate and environmental justice accomplishments this year, such as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passage and Virginia’s continued participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). We should also promote the work we must continue to do to serve our communities and the environment that sustains us all.

One way we recommend doing this is by voting, which we have made more manageable for you to navigate this election cycle with our voter toolkit, calendar, and reflection guide. We also are just beginning our Climate in the Pulpits, in the Minbar, and on the Bimah, It’s Time to Act, a call to climate action for all faith communities, which you can learn more about here.

We encourage you to take time for yourself and your loved ones to contemplate the year and enjoy the continued change of the seasons and changes in yourself.