Making Positive Memories for the High Holy Days

I love summer and I hate to see it go but I am comforted in knowing that the High Holy Days are coming. I love these holidays – for many non-religious reasons.

At the top of my list is going to services in which EVERYONE from my congregation is present. Yup, more than a thousand people all in one place, together. I love seeing the faces that I haven’t seen in months and those that I saw the day before. I love getting hugs from the elderly men because my dad is gone and I don’t get to hug him anymore. I am warmed knowing that Stan, Alex and Rene also looks forward to our hugs. This year I will note the men who have passed and won’t be available for our ritual.

The Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah, I love the peaceful feeling of the S’lichot service. We gather in the darkness and together learn, pray and prepare for the new year.

I love the annual Rosh Hashanah dinner. Bustling around the kitchen, giggling with the sheer joy of being together. Looking at all the faces around the table – the faces that I love and that love me.

Preparing the foods that we eat just for this holiday. The sliced apples, the honey pot, the honey and apple cakes – my dear friend always makes honey and I always make apple – that I can rely on seeing.

I love to look at the children in my life, each year getting older and delighting me in new ways.

All of these things you too can do.

1. Gather with people you love – whether you’re related or not.
2. Pick certain foods to be THE ONES you always have.
3. Involve your friends and family in preparing together.
4. If you go to shul, find a place that you like and make friends there, friends that will be a part of your world.
5. Light the candles. Just so you have a moment, perhaps only 30 seconds, in which you pause and notice the blessings that surround you.

Remember that you can call me about any questions you have – it can be simply that you don’t really know where to begin.