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, KiddushThe prayer recited over wine on Shabbat, holidays, and other joyous occasions., 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 HashanahThe Jewish New Year, also considered the Day of Judgment. The period of the High Holidays is a time of introspection and atonement. The holiday is celebrated with the sounding of the shofar, lengthy prayers in synagogue, the eating of apples and honey, and round challah for a sweet and whole year. Tashlikh, casting bread on the water to symbolize the washing away of sins, also takes place on Rosh Hashana. and Yom KippurThe holiest day of the Jewish year and the culmination of a season of self-reflection. Jews fast, abstain from other worldly pleasures, and gather in prayers that last throughout the day. Following Ne'ilah, the final prayers, during which Jews envision the Gates of Repentance closing, the shofar is sounded in one long blast to conclude the holy day. It is customary to begin building one's sukkah as soon as the day ends., 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.