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L’Shannah Tova

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What do the Jewish New Year and insurance have in common? The answer may surprise you.

Judaism, the oldest of the “Abrahamic faiths,” uses a lunar-based calendar, which means that our holidays (Holy Days) fall at different times each “regular” year. Today, we are celebrating the second day of Rosh HaShannah, our New Year.

Unlike December 31st, though, there was no “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Rosh HaShannah Eve,” no champagne corks were flying, and no confetti streamed from the rafters.

So how can "New Year's" last two days? Well, as with most of Jewish observance, there are a number of answers. In the Torah (what my Christian friends call the "Old Testament") it is defined as one day. The second day was added later, and is not observed by every Jewish denomination.

In Judaism, Rosh HaShannah, while a joyous and festive occasion, is part of a ten day cycle called The Days of Awe, which began this past Friday night, and continues until we break our day-long fast at the end of Yom Kippur. It is a time of intense self-examination, as we try to identify, and atone for, the wrongs we’ve done to others in the past year, and to find a way to return to a more spiritually productive path.

So what does that have to do with insurance? Well, truthfully, not much. But how one sells insurance, and how one treat clients and carriers, have a lot to do with it. In my faith we believe that when we die, we will be judged first and foremost on how we conducted our business. How we treat those with whom we conduct commerce, the thinking goes, says a lot about how we treat all the people in our lives.

And I believe that.

It’s why I conduct my practice the way I do. It’s why I choose to blog with someone who shares my values (if not all of my opinions). It’s why, when I teach insurance to other agents, I always stress the importance of doing the right thing, always.

Part of our process of atonement is to ask forgiveness from those whom we’ve hurt, by word or deed. TMBN is relatively new, and Insurance Dispatch is even newer, but I have no doubt that I’ve managed to hurt, or offend, at least a few of my ID readers.  I ask your forgiveness, and pledge to do better in the coming year.

I wish you a joyous, prosperous, and healthy 5767.

Henry Stern, LUTCF is an independent insurance agent in Dayton, OH. A licensed Continuing Education instructor for Ohio and Kentucky, he has well over 20 years of experience in “the biz.”  He blogs every day (or so it seems) at InsureBlog.

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from InsureBlog on Sat, 09/23/2006 - 10:23pm

This week's edition, available at the Medical Blog Network, is a reprise of my Rosh HaShannah post here at InsureBlog. Look for a small twist, though, about how long our New Year's celebration lasts.

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