Posted by: Leah | September 30, 2011

Leah’s Guide to High Holy Days Survival

L’Shana Tovah!








Tis this time of the year for us, Jews! Overcrowded synagogues, frustrated people, fights for seating spots! Yep, High Holy Days are here.

Starting yesterday and until next Saturday (Yom Kippur) are Yamim Nora’im – Days of Awe, and want it or not – but we have to make them count!

So below is my guide of what to do or not to do to make your synagogue experience a more quality one:

1. Don’t expect to be out early. I mean really. High Holy Day services are lengthy ones. Bring snacks and water (don’t bring them for Yom Kippur though! you are not going to mae any friends by doing this) and your patience.

2. Dress comfortably and modestly. When I see ladies in high heels in tight dresses I think eeeeek! I personally can’t think about repentance wearing heels and a tight skirt. I think about everything else but repentance, so dress comfortably and wear comfortable shoes because you will be standing a lot. Also yoga pants, jeans and mini skirts with tank tops won’t fly. think more of a job interview style.

3. Don’t go all black. It is not a funeral that you are going to be attending. The tradition is to actually go all white or at least partially white to indicate the willingness of your soul to do homework.

4. Speaking about homework please do it – spiritually – reflect on the past year and just research where you are going to, what type of service it is going to be and what to expect.

5. If your Hebrew is not 100%, follow the English translation. It is important to understand what is going on and what you are saying.

6. Since you are already there, BE there. Engage yourself in meaningful activities and thoughts. If you can’t, engage with your neighbours at least.

7. Check up on yourself emotionally. As a hospice volunteer, I have developed this wonderful habit – asking yourself how you feel emotionally and why and what you can do to feel better.

8. There sure will be somebody you don’t like – too much perfume, talking, praying, noise, smell, coughing. Try not to judge. Let it go.

9. Appreciate this time when you have minutes, well yeah actually hours to reflect on your life and think about positive changes.

10. Finally, just enjoy it – it is a great chance to engage with the community.

I would like to wish all my readers a wonderful sweet year ahead and that we will all be inscribed in the book of life for a good, happy and healthy year.

 L’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem.


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