The 20-Something's Guide To Celebrating Rosh Hashanah

You don't have to re-learn your bar mitzvah Torah portion.

Rosh Hashanah is here, and it’s a time when Jewish faithful are commanded to wake up and hear the shofar.

But not all Jews are sure where to begin. A witty new video produced by Jewish youth organization the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation lays out a simple and fun guide for celebrating the Jewish new year for those who may be daunted.

“You keep hearing about honey and rams’ horns and fasting and forgiveness, and suddenly you’re stumped,” the video narrates, addressing young Jews out there who don’t quite know how to go about celebrating.

But never fear, the video continues: “You don’t need to wander the desert for 40 years; you don’t need to harvest your own honey; you don’t have to make your own shofar.”

Instead, consider the holiday a spiritual wake-up call, mirrored by the blowing of the shofar, or ram’s horn. That wake-up call is an invitation, much like the secular New Year’s holiday, to cast off old habits and set intentions for the months and years to come.

The video lays out five steps to have a meaningful Rosh Hashanah, and they’re practices people of all faiths and non-faiths might benefit from.

1. Practice some self-reflection. Break out your journal and reflect on how the last year went for you and what you’re grateful for. Is there anyone you need to apologize to? Make amends so you don’t carry over any lingering negativity into the new year.

2. Get ready to set intentions. Consider what hopes and goals you have for the upcoming year and what needs to change to get you there. You can even throw some crumbs into a nearby body of water to symbolize casting off regrets.

3. Let go. Rosh Hashanah is a great time to say goodbye to old habits and possessions that may be cluttering your physical and spiritual space.

4. List your goals. Write them down and put them up on the refrigerator where you can see them every day.

5. Now celebrate! There are many forms that can take, and the video suggests a few. Find something that speaks to you and grab a friend to ring in the new year in company.

“Rosh Hashanah 2016” was produced by Rob Schlissel, with creative direction by Eileen Levinson, both of the Schusterman foundation’s ROI Community. It stars actor William DeMeritt.



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