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September 18, 1992 - Image 68

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-09-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

When Actuality Gives Way To Possibility

Continued from Page L-1

traditional visit, remembering family
is an important piece to include in
High Holiday preparations. Bring out
the photo albums and put them on
the coffee table. Make sure the
videotapes of family members
are around. Remind family members
to whom they are connected and
how. This would be a good time to
display or make your family tree.
Another powerful preparation for
the High Holidays is recitation of
selichot prayers. These are special
penitential prayers and are recited
each morning starting the week
before Rosh Hashanah. However, it
has become the custom the
Saturday night beginning the week
of these prayers, that they are
recited at midnight. In many
congregations the service is
preceded by Torah study. The
prayers are said late at night at a
time that seems appropriate for
Sending new year cards is
another traditional ritual of
connection. Wishing friends and
relatives that they be inscribed in
the book of life emphasizes the
importance of staying in touch. This,
along with taking the time to ask
forgiveness (saying you're sorry,
mechillah) for things done
intentionally or unintentionally gives
families a valuable opportunity to
not only stay in touch, but to also
reconcile differences. How many
times do we think about apologizing
to people we love for the little things
we have forgotten or are hurtful.
Giving tzedakah (money to
worthy causes) is also traditional
during this period. Remembering
others even at a time when we are
engrossed in ourselves and our
families is an important part of the
holiday preparation. The whole
family should be involved in this
process. When you sit down to write
a check, part of the High Holiday
transformation is enhanced by
including the children in the
process. It is also a good time to
give them the opportunity to make a
contribution to the family tzedakah

Even during Rosh Hashanah
we continue the transition with the
anticipation of Yom Kippur. It is the
custom for Jews to go to a river on

al haidll


27676 Franklin Road
Southfield, Michigan 48034
September 18, 1992
Associate Publisher: Arthur M. Horwitz

Consultant: Harlene W. Appelman



Preparing For Rosh Hashanah

4 ■ 10.

Practicing blowing the shofar

Saying "I'm sorry"

Giving Tzedakah

Sending Rosh Ha-Shanah cards

Studying the Mahzor

Remembering family history

Reprinted from "Building Jewish Life," by Joel Grishaver, Torah Aura Productions

the afternoon of the first day of
Rosh Hashanah and empty their
pockets, throwing any crumbs into
the river. This is to make us feel as
though we have the opportunity to
throw our mistakes away. The act of
throwing our mistakes into the water
has many explanations. One
explanation is that water is
constantly moving. The water we
see was not there a moment ago
and will not be there a moment
later. So we think to ourselves that
we will not repeat our mistakes. The
mistakes, like the water, will move
According to research on the
importance of family rituals
conducted by Dr. Steven J. Wolin,
family rituals survive if family
members are committed to the
ritual, but are also willing to
acknowledge that some rituals must
change with time. Further, through
repetition over time, family rituals
contribute to the stability of the
In order to be committed to
family rituals, everyone needs a
role. Further, each family member
needs to understand what's
happening on his or her own level.
The High Holidays give a very
powerful message in a stress-filled
world: We have another chance.
There is always an opportunity for

reconciliation and beginning again.
For children today, this message is
particularly important. Each of the
individual ceremonies and rituals
previously mentioned, from
sounding the shofar, to visiting the
cemetery, to going to a moving body
of water to symbolically throwing
away mistakes, presents a unique
opportunity to identify with and
personalize the High Holidays. The
High Holidays give each family

member the opportunity for
introspection and personal growth.
Taking advantage of the High
Holiday message has great potential
for strengthening your family.
A happy healthy New Year to
you and your family.

Harlene Winnick Appelman is field
services director for Whizin Institute,
University of Judaism and
consultant to L'Chayim.

Bean Bag Toss

Play this game with
your classmates. All
the players form a cir-
cle. A bean bag is
tossed around the cir-
cle from person to
person. Each one
receiving the bean
bag must call out a
Rosh Hashanah word.
When the player calls
out the word, he
passes the bean bag
to the next one in the
circle. If a player
repeats or hesitates,
he is out of the game.

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