We asked and you answered! Over the past month we put out the question: “what rituals do you do that others would benefit from?” The response was overwhelming: thousands of members of the growing Ritualwell community participated in this conversation. Picking just 10 rituals to share with all of you was difficult, as everything that was sent in to us was compelling. In the end, the results of the voting were quite close, but these three led as the rituals that you found most meaningful, beneficial, or compelling (drum roll…):
• Every night when we go to bed, my husband and I make a point of saying thank you to one another for something done during the day. It keeps us from taking things – even little things – for granted.
• This may seem trite, but on Shabbat is the Sabbath day, the Day of Rest, and is observed from Friday night through Saturday night. Is set aside from the rest of the week both in honor of the fact that God rested on the seventh day after creating the world. On Shabbat, many Jews observe prohibitions from various activities designated as work. Shabbat is traditionally observed with festive meals, wine, challah, prayers, the reading and studying of Torah, conjugal relations, family time, and time with friends., we go around the table and say for what we are thankful and why. This brings us together as family and friends.
• Starting in 5749, each year between The 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 The 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 write a letter to the future me – I talk about how events of the year have impacted me, where I am as a woman, Jew, wife, mother, daughter, professional, etc. I set goals and articulate aspirations. I seal it up and, with great anticipation, I open it the next Rosh HaShanah.
Sharing a meaningful ritual in 350 characters or less is not an easy task, and we commend those of you who took the leap to share one of your personal or family rituals. While it is true that we hold great nostalgia for the pomp and circumstance of a High Holiday service or wedding ceremony, what we have learned here is that the smaller everyday moments, or the deeply personal and solitary reflections, can hold as much meaning as these grandiose rites. Whether looking back at the year that has passed, anticipating the future, or helping ourselves and others to be more fully present, we are always grateful for the wealth of tradition that helps us mark each moment. Thank you to all of you who shared such deeply personal rituals, and thanks, also, to all of you who opened your hearts to let these rituals in.