I’ve spoken to several people recently who don’t plan to attend synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah, but who want to find meaningful ways to celebrate the holiday. And I know others who do go to synagogue, but who are looking for additional ways to enhance their celebration of the day. So here are some ideas for celebrating Rosh Hashanah outside of a synagogue, regardless of whether or not you also attend services:

  1. Have a Rosh Hashanah Seder: You don’t have to wait for Passover to have a seder. In fact, many Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews have a seder on the first night of Rosh Hashanah. This seder, which has its origins in the Talmud, is called a  Seder Yehi Ratzon  (“seder of God’s will”), and just like the Passover seder, it has foods which are invested with meaning. Each food symbolizes a wish for the year ahead, and a special blessing is recited before eating each food. As explained on the My Jewish Learning website: “With each blessing, the mundane aspect of food is garnished with a sense of holiness, poignancy, and even humor.” To learn about the foods and blessings that are part of the Rosh Hashanah seder, click here or here.

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Booklet Section: Gratitude