Rituals as Varied as Our Lives, by Rabbi Deborah Glanzberg-Krainin, Ph.D.

You’ve shared a multitude of ideas that can help us celebrate joys, heal sorrows and wash away difficulties.

For weeks, Rabbi Roni Handler and I have been reading rituals shared by members of the growing Ritualwell community. Your ideas vary as much as the lives we all live. Many of you described the joy you take in traditional aspects of Shabbat—especially candle lighting, Kiddush, and the pleasures of a leisurely meal with family and friends. Frequently, ritual was rooted deep in family rhythms, like the person who wrote:

“When I am home with my family, our father always makes waffles on Sunday morning. Even though all the children are grown up, we gather around, tell stories, and let our father stuff us with a wonderful breakfast. It's a ritual I'll be passing on, now that I have my own waffle iron— the same GE model from the ’60s, no less!”

Others sent us intensely introspective rituals, many inspired by nature, such as this one:

Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I usually will take time to go the Gulf of Mexico and sit and watch the waves. As I watch, I think of everything I have done and what I plan to change in the future and wash away any negativity that was from the previous year.

In addition to cleansing and healing, gratitude was a common theme. We share this feeling, and offer our thanks to you for participating in the Ritualwell community.