The Jewish year is a roller-coaster of joyful celebrations and mournful observances. Jewish New Year's Day is called Rosh Hashanah—but, unlike the American New Year, it's a solemn day of remembering all the good and bad things we've done over the year. It's followed nine days later by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and the celebratory harvest festival Sukkot.

As the winter takes hold and nights grow long, the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, lets us bring a little light into the cold months.

The rebirth of spring leads to Purim and Passover, two holidays that celebrate life and rescue and release. In the summer, we commemorate the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem with the Seventeenth of Tammuz and Tisha B'Av.

The year's final month, Elul, reminds us of our relationship with nature and the Divine, and the entire month is spent preparing for the High Holidays.