Next Monday night is the first night of Rosh Hashana, the beginning of the New Year 5769. Some say the dating began when Adam ha Rishon (Adam the first man) was fully created; some say the clock started ticking when Adam spoke. Nobody I know who's Jewish thinks the world began just six days (as we know them) before that--and I've been taking a fascinating class on the classic Jewish scholar known as Ramban or Nachmanides (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman Gerondi, 1194-1270) who describes biblical creation in surprising and complex detail. In fact, one of his points is that when God made the world, on the fourth "day" (whatever its length), He embedded seeds in the world that only sprouted and became plants once there was rain and somebody there to use/eat them. Interesting, eh?
In any case, I'm trying to prepare for the occasion next Monday night when we'll be judged and get our year's prescription by listening to cassettes by Rabbi Akiva Tatz (I have the complete set of his lectures up to three years ago--hundreds and hundreds of tapes) on many aspects of the holiday, but alas, the more I listen, the more I realize I cannot adequately repent and repair and get in the proper frame of mind. In fact, I can't even remember all the people to whom I need to apologize, much less all the infractions and offenses I've racked up that need redressing. I'm doomed to failure, and really need to count on God's attributes of mercy (and my associates' mercy as well as lack of recollection) if I stand any chance at all to make it through the next year unscathed. Awk, life was sure easier before I became serious about Judaism!
In the meantime, it seems even Barack, Biden, McCain and Palin are getting in the spirit of the holiday. You'll love this YouTube! L'Shana Tova (Happy New Year)!