Well, yes and no. Yes to the wishing a Happy (and also Healthy and Prosperous) New Year. But we're not so sure about the resolutions part.
When you got home from shul after Yom Kippur services were over, did you get out a pad of paper, laptop, iPad, or smartphone and start making a list of specific changes you were going to try to achieve in the new year? To be perfectly honest, we didn't. How could we, in our rush to put out the bagels, cream cheese, and other delicacies for the traditional break-fast?
Isn't it funny that on Yom Kippur we recite, over and over again, a set of 44 Al Chets, mistakes that we, the collective Jewish people, are sorry that we made during the past year, but there is no formal place in the services to list positive steps for change that we plan to take in the year to come?
Of course, we're not going to actually write a list on the day of Yom Kippur, and there's an implied promise that we won't repeat the same mistakes next year. But unless we translate these very general categories of mistakes into a personal action plan, it's hard to think of the avoidance of general mistakes as New Years Resolutions. It's especially difficult when we have asked forgiveness for:
- the mistakes we committed before you willfully and intentionally
- the mistakes we committed before you by exercising power
- the mistakes we committed before you with eye movements
- the mistakes we committed before you with a strong forehead