Soul Sculpting Project: The 5 Minute Rosh Hashanah Celebration

Practicing Celebration New Soul Sculpting Feature

Soul Sculpting Project: The 5 Minute Rosh Hashanah Celebration

In a few days I’ll put on my apron and spend some time creating a meal with round loaves, chicken and carrot tzimmes. I’ll find the best looking apple and put some honey in a glass dish. I’ll get out a table cloth and the good dishes. When it is time to eat we will say some blessings and dip our apple in honey saying, “May You bring us a good and sweet year.”

This annual ritual of celebrating Rosh Hashanah provides me a sense of new beginnings. A launching pad for a fresh season of life.

Holy-day celebrations and rituals contribute to our well-being in many ways. Here are five:

Celebrations and rituals:

  • Provide structure and stability in the midst of a changing world.
  • Strengthen our sense of identity and belonging.
  • Re-presents our worldview.
  • Provide renewal, an oasis, in the midst of every day life.
  • Provide a sacred space that strengthens our inner world/soul.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I invite you to join me in the practice of celebrating holidays – holy-days.

This week we celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.

We choose to have a full dinner with our celebration. The ritual beginning, however, is brief and can be done in about 5 minutes. You might choose to use this traditional ritual by itself or as the prelude to a dinner.

Soul Sculpting Project: The 5 Minute Rosh Hashanah Celebration:

Materials for the Celebration:

  1. A candle and something to light it with
  2. Apple/fruit
  3. Drink (we used sparkling cider or a fancy juice, but water works, too)
  4. Honey in a dish
  5. Bread

The 5 Minute Ceremony

1. Light candle and say the blessing. (Hebrew transliteration or English)

Baruch atah Adonai Elohenu melek ha-Olam boray muh oray ha-eysh.”

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our King of the Universe, creator of the radiance of the fire.”

2. Say or sing Kiddush as blessing for the drink. All raise cups during the blessing and take a drink when finished.

Abbreviated Kiddush

Blessed art Thou, Lord our, King of the Universe, who brings us the fruit of the vine. Blessed are You, Our God, King of the Universe, who chose us from all people. And in your love, Lord our God, You give us festivals for rejoicing

3. Bless the bread.

Blessing for the Bread

Blessed art Thou, O Eternal, our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

4. All dip a chunk of bread in honey and eat.

5. Bless the fruit

Blessing for the Fruit

Blessed art Thou, O Eternal, our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruits of the earth.

6. All take a slice of fruit and dip it in honey. Before it is eaten all say together “May You bring us a good and sweet year.”

Celebrating holidays and practicing rituals is common to all human cultures. Rituals give us stability, identity, renewal, and belonging. Rituals create a sacred space in the midst of our ordinary life and rituals strengthen our soul.

May God bring us all a good and sweet year as we grow in our ability to thrive and connect with God.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Want to know more about celebrating Rosh Hashanah?

Following you will find a more complete description of how we celebrate Rosh Hashanah This is taken from my curriculum, Playful Worship, which is designed for families.

Rosh Hashanah The Jewish New Year Hashanah = Head of the year

When: Mid to late September

Tradition says the world began on Rosh Hashanah and it is now the Jewish world’s New Years Day. It is a sacred holiday that marks the first day of the calendar year and “ 10 Days of Awe”. These ten days are a period of self-examination and repentance that end with Yom Kippur and the Day of Atonement.

Rosh Hashanah is also known as “the Day of Sounding the Shofar”. This is in keeping with the Biblical command in Lev. 23:24-25 to proclaim the day with a blast of a horn. During the Rosh Hashanah synagogue service this command is thoroughly observed by including 100 shofar notes. A home-bound person can observe this commandment by having a visiting trumpet player stop by to play.

Though the Days of Awe are a solemn time, Rosh Hashanah is festive. A dinner beginning with a simple ceremony and including lots of sweet things to eat is a common part of the Rosh Hashanah observance.

Verses to check out to learn more:

  • Leviticus 23:23-25
  • Numbers 29:1-6
  • Psalms 81:4-5
  • Ezra 3:1-3
  • Nehemiah 7:73-8:13

How we celebrate

On the actual evening of Rosh Hashanah, or as near it as works out for our schedules, we have a special dinner. The meal begins with the following brief service. The role of mother and father can, of course, be played by anyone present.

1. Mother lights candles as she says the blessing.

“Baruch atah Adonai Elohenu melek ha-Olam boray muh oray ha-eysh.”

Blessed art Thou, O Lord our King of the Universe, creator of the radiance of the fire.”

2. Father says or sings Kiddush as blessing for the drink. All raise cups during the blessing and take a drink when finished.

Abbreviated Kiddush

Blessed art Thou, Lord our, King of the Universe, who brings us the fruit of the vine. Blessed are You, Our God, King of the Universe, who chose us from all people. And in your love, Lord our God, You give us festivals for rejoicing

3. Father blesses bread.

Blessing for the Bread

Blessed art Thou, O Eternal, our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.

4. All dip a chunk of bread in honey and eat.

5. Father blesses fruit (apple)

Blessing for the Fruit

Blessed art Thou, O Eternal, our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruits of the earth.

6. All take a slice of apple and dip it in honey. Before it is eaten all say together “May You bring us a good and sweet year.”

7. Enjoy a good dinner while listening to some good trumpet music.

Blessing Before Sounding the Horn

Blessed art Thou,Lord our God, King of the Universe who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to hear the sound of the shofar.

The four foods you will need are:

  • Apple
  • Drink (we used sparkling cider or a fancy juice)
  • Honey
  • Bread

The Bread

The traditional bread hallah, is shaped in a round loaf with a crown formed with dough on the top. The crown symbolizes our wish to crown God as king. The round loaf signifies a desire for a long life span.

To make hallah you can find a traditional recipe; there are many variations, or just do as I do. Make a loaf of regular bread and add an egg as you put in the liquid. Make a round loaf reserving 1/3 cup of dough to form the flattened crown on the top. I like to decorate the crown with nuts and seeds before baking.

One traditional food you may want to try is Carrot Tzimmes.

The carrots are sliced in circles to resemble coins expressing our desire for a prosperous year. In Yiddish, a common Jewish language, the words “carrot” and “multiply” sound the same. So some like to say “May we all multiply” as they eat the carrots.

Carrot Tzimmes

  • ½ pound carrots
  • 1 T butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • salt to taste
  • ½ t ginger
  • orange juice

Slice carrots into rounds. Place everything in pot with orange juice to cover. Bring to boil. Cook until carrots are soft.

Honey is eaten in abundance on this holiday. Sour foods are considered “out”. The custom of feasting and sweet foods comes from the command in Nehemiah 8:10. Many more traditional recipes are available in Jewish cookbooks. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

May God bring us a good and sweet year. Happy New Year.

If you already celebrate Rosh Hashanah your rituals will differ from ours and I would love to hear how you celebrate.

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