Identity, Mishegas, Religion

What are we doing for Rosh Hashanah if we’re not going to shul? A crowd-sourced pie chart



1 % Camping in Arizona

1%  Blowing shofar on a mountain top

1% Celebrating our birthday

1% Awkwardly running into our boss at mid day yoga after “taking the day off

1% Unpacking

1% Going to a newly legalized same sex wedding

6%  Shit, it’s Rosh Hashanah?

10%  School, even though we technically have the day off

10% Volunteering

20% Feeling crabby that we can’t go to $425$450 services

20% Apple picking and apple related activities

30% Feeling guilty about not going to services, but knowing it will make us crazy if we go


7 thoughts on “What are we doing for Rosh Hashanah if we’re not going to shul? A crowd-sourced pie chart

  1. sorry but if that’s all Rosh HaShana means to you, you deserve to spend the day in the apple orchard.
    Rosh Hashana is the first day of the rest of your life. It’s the day that you have the chance to reflect on where you want to go….spiritually, physically, as a parent/child/friend/family member….
    It’s sad that for many American Jews, the High Holidays have become a synagogue ritual of expensive boredom but if you make it an either-or proposition, you deserve what you get.
    I have an alternate list of (free) alternatives:
    1. Look around you and think of someone who needs your help. then take a few minutes out of your life and help.
    2. Invite friends over to the Rosh Hashana celebration. Take some time to discuss what your goals were for last year, where you fell short and what your new goals are for the new year.
    3. Join a community of like-minded people and celebrate together.
    4. Consider why Judaism has, for you, become a choice between camping in Arizona or spending $450 for a synagogue/temple ticket.
    5. Meditate on the word “self-indulgent”

  2. Laurie, I’m sorry that this post was distressing to you, but I would urge you to look more closely at it and not be so condescending and dismissive of people engaging with Rosh Hashanah in ways that are not going to synagogue. Camping in Arizona, apple picking, volunteering, etc, are all relevant and legitimate ways of spending a Jewish holiday when we have complicated relationships with it.

  3. While $450 does seem like a lot for High Holy Day tickets, running Jewish institutions is expensive. A synagogue needs membership to survive, but today, the income from membership is not enough. It is a Jewish obligation to support the community, and if non-members are willing to pay to come to the synagogue two times a year, then I see no problem with the synagogue trying raise some money from that to supplement the money they get from membership dues, donations, etc. so that they can continue to offer their programs throughout the year.

  4. I went to an awesome shul (suggested donation of $125 for we four, plus an unaffiliated friend we picked up along the way) AND peach picking with the family. It doesn’t have to be an either/or scenario. Personally, I think a wilderness or camping-oriented Rosh Hashanah would be amazing, especially if combined with a volunteer activity, or any of the other positive activities in the crowd-sourced pie chart.

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