High Holidays Unbound: Do
On this page, you will find a variety of creative activities to engage in to mark your observance of the High Holidays. Feel free to engage in these and come up with creative ideas yourself!
To preface this page, we're including some beautiful words from Louisa Solomon, lead singer of a Jewish Rock group called The Shondes. In a 2015 Facebook post, she outlines a wide variety of authentic ways to engage in the observance of Yom Kippur.
"These are some things I have done on Yom Kippur in no particular order:
- Stayed home from school, felt guilty
- Stayed home from school, felt nothing
- Read the Bible
- Read about Teshuvah, atonement, and repentance
- Written letters to people I love
- Walked to where the boardwalk ends
- Worked on my Teshuvah [atonement] spreadsheet (not a joke)
- Gone to synagogue for a little while
- Gone to synagogue for an eternity
- Gone to synagogue in Poland
- Work white and a night-Tallis [prayer shawl]
- Fasted for 25 hours and felt totally altered
- Fasted for 25 hours and complained about it
- Broken fast early because everyone wanted to go to the diner
- Broken fast with people I love at a restaurant, at home, on tour in a parking lot
- Walked the river
- Written songs
- Moped around
- Felt like the sky was wide open and truth was everywhere
We'll see how tonight and tomorrow go this time around."
Were you looking for a way to re-connect with the ancient scapegoat ritual described as a core part of Yom Kippur in the Book of Leviticus? No -- we didn't think so. But were you looking for a way to watch a fun animated video related to it and atone for errors of the past year online? Perhaps that's more likely. You can do the latter at Escgoat.com.
Junk Food Tashlich
Tashlich is a ritual dating back to the Middle Ages, whereby Jews cast away bread into a body of water to represent the discarding of sins during the High Holiday season. On Ritual Well, we discovered a ritual perfect for those looking to make a New Year's Resolution to cut down on the amount of junk food in their diets -- a junk food Tashlich. Instead of casting away bread, they recommend casting away junk food (please don't cast away the wrappers, though -- then you have to atone for littering). Experiment with this ritual, or perhaps you can think of other symbolic items to discard in a contemporary form of Tashlich!
Make Some Noise!
Funny enough, the term "Rosh Hashanah" is nowhere to be found in the Torah. Instead, the 1st day of Tishri is referred to as Yom Teruah -- a day of noisemaking. The ritual of blowing the shofar partially stems from this alternate title. You can bring a contemporary twist to this season by taking the opportunity to create noise a different way -- through instrumental music with friends and loved ones.