By John Nathan, December 23, 2009
A question for secular Jews: Which festival makes you feel most Jewish? It is hard to beat the piety that comes with the abstinence of Yom Kippur. But piety, surely, is more a Christian concept.
What about Rosh Hashanah? For me, the elemental call of a ram’s horn ushering in the new year sends me at the speed of light back to Rosh Hashanahs of my past. And to one in particular.
I was in that period of ostentatious observance common among Jewish boys in the run-up to barmitzvah. I laid tefilin, I asked questions. In synagogue, I sang loudly. It didn’t last.