New Simanim for a New Year (5781)

fall picnic outdoors with drink, pumpkin, cookies

סימנים חדשים לשנה חדשה (תשפ״א)

This ritual was created in response to this difficult past year, with a drought in Arizona, wildfires on the West Coast and the coronavirus pandemic. This is based upon the ritual of eating symbolic foods on Rosh Hashanah.


Suggested foods: tofu, ice cream, beer, and something nice to drink (liquor, soda, etc.)

1. Drought: Arizona just experienced its driest summer ever recorded. We need rain, so let’s eat tofu (evoking the drops of rain tiftuf טפטוף in Hebrew) ...

יהי רצון מלפניך ה׳ אלוקינו ואלוקי אבותינו, שבשנה החדשה יטפטפו השמים.

Yehi ratzon milfaneikha, Adonai Elohenu ve-Elohei Avoteinu, sheba-shanah ha-hadashah yetaftefu ha-shamayim.

May it be your will, O Lord our God and God of our Forefathers, that in the new year the heavens will drip forth rain.

2. Heat: Arizona just experienced its hottest summer ever recorded. We need coolereven coldweather, so let’s eat ice cream ...

.יהי רצון מלפניך ה׳ אלוקינו ואלוקי אבותינו, שבשנה החדשה יתקרר אווירינו כגלידה 

Yehi ratzon milfaneikha, Adonai Elohenu ve-Elohei Avoteinu, sheba-shanah ha-hadashah yitkarer avirenu ka-glidah.

May it be your will, O Lord our God and God of our Forefathers, that in the new year the air around us will become as cold as ice cream.

3. Fire: The West is ablaze, as our hazy skies remind us daily. So let’s symbolically douse the burning (be’ira בעירה in Hebrew) by drinking beer (bira בירה in Hebrew). 

 יהי רצון מלפניך ה׳ אלוקינו ואלוקי אבותינו, שבשנה החדשה הבעירה במערב ארצות הברית תתהפך בבירה.

Yehi ratzon milfaneikha, Adonai Elohenu ve-Elohei Avoteinu, sheba-shanah ha-hadashah ha-be’irah ba-ma’arav artzot tithapekh be-bira.  

May it be your will, O Lord our God and God of our Forefathers, that in the new year the burning in the Western United States will be replaced with beer.

4. Covid: We are all eager to remove our masks, but of course we won’t do so until our scientists and doctors tell us we can. In the meantime, let’s drink something real nice (mashke משקה in Hebrew) to wash away our sorrow ...

יהי רצון מלפניך ה׳ אלוקינו ואלוקי אבותינו, שבשנה החדשה תרדנה מסכותינו מפנינו כמשקאות הזורמים בגרוננו.

Yehi ratzon milfaneikha, Adonai Elohenu ve-Elohei Avoteinu, sheba-shanah ha-hadashah teredna masekhoteinu mi-paneinu ka-mashka’ot ha-zormim be-garonenu.  

May it be your will, O Lord our God and God of our Forefathers, that in the new year the masks will descend from our faces like the drinks flowing down our throats.

שנה טובה!

Shanah Tovah!

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