In the villages of Eastern Europe it was a custom before
the New Year for a messenger to go from house to house
with a sack. Those who could afford it put coins into
the sack; those who were poor took coins from the sack.
No one knew who gave and who took. No one was embarassed
because he was poor. Every family had money to buy the
things they neeed to celebrate the holiday.
Giving tzedakah, sharing what we have with
those in need, is an important mitzvah
in Jewish life.
The ideal of charity around the New Year time has
its place in the modern world in the attempts of some
Jewish communal service agencies and local community-based
projects to make sure that all Jews can afford to attend
services and get a good Yom
Tov meal. But our concern for the unfortunate
is not limited to the borders of our own country. It
is by now something of a tradition to find an appeal
from the State of Israel on one's seat in synagogue
around the High Holidays.
Other traditions: Tashlich
First two paragraphs by Judyth Robbins
From "My Very Own Rosh Hashanah"
BEN COPIES, INC.
Reprinted with permission