With Rosh Hashanah starting tomorrow and the global pandemic keeping us from gathering in the synagogue, we have the opportunity to make this New Year meaningful and memorable. From the team at HighHolidays@Home, here are our favorite at-home rituals you can incorporate into your High Holiday season.
One: Host a Rosh Hashanah Seder
For more than 2000 years, Jewish communities around the world have elevated their Rosh Hashanah meal into a seder, with symbolic foods and wishes for the New Year. Watch our recorded webinar about hosting a Rosh Hashanah seder, then choose one of our curated booklets to use during your meal.
- Choose a Rosh Hashanah Seder with Tashlich to look back on the past and prepare for the future
- The Four Toasts Seder offers a quicker gathering centered on symbolic foods and the four themes of Rosh Hashanah.
- Check out our Rosh Hashanah Favorites, full of the best clips from our partner organizations
- Or, make your own seder!
During your seder, take moments for reflection, conversation and vulnerability to make meaning of this time together, especially during the pandemic. You can go around the table or computer and have each person share a point of pride from the past year, and something they would have liked to do differently. Or, talk about your intentions for the year to come.To close your seder, sing a song, take a breath together, make a toast or shout, “Next Year in Person!”
Two: Make Sacred Space at Home
Another way to celebrate Rosh Hashanah from home is by turning a small part of your house into a spiritual sanctuary, also known as making an altar. Many Jewish homes include a mizrach to indicate the eastern wall and help us know where to direct our bodies. Now, you can transform a table or bookshelf into a physical space to focus your prayers.
Click here for a step-by-step guide to making sacred space in your house. Or, watch a recorded webinar with even more ideas to personalize your space and have it reflect your wishes and intentions for the New Year.
Three: Try a New Way to Tashlich
There’s a lot of reasons to love tashlich. It’s embodied, personal, adaptable for kids, inclusive, and it’s pandemic-friendly because it usually happens outside. From the Hebrew word for “casting off,” tashlich is a moment for us to symbolically cast away all those mistakes we made in the past year. Traditionally, people gather at a flowing body of water and toss leaves or pebbles into the water, which are wildlife-friendly alternatives to breadcrumbs.
If you like your absolution structured, check out the Wash My Soul Tashlich Ceremony. Ready to experiment with a new ritual? Sketch your misdeeds with sidewalk chalk and then wash them away with a cup of water. Or, try writing your mistakes on water-soluble paper and then watching them dissolve in a bowl of water. The Apologies Exchange can be adapted for a family or a whole community.
We couldn’t talk about our favorite ways to celebrate the High Holidays without mentioning Seeker Season: A Guidebook for the Curious and Courageous. Our signature holiday collection is full of opportunities to pray, meditate, eat, mourn, dance, make art, reflect, forgive, celebrate, heal and listen, now and into the New Year. You can use the Guidebook in your sacred space or take it out into nature. By doing these activities with intention, giving them your full attention and doing them with repetition - you can make any activity a ritual.
Did you try one of these rituals at home? Tag us @Haggadot.com or @CustomandCraft and use #HighHolidaysAtHome #RoshHashanahSeder #JewishHomeAltars #SeekerSeason so we can share them!