With the pandemic still circulating, it’s sometimes hard to find the positives in things. Being worrisome over financial discomfort, health concerns, and many other stressors is very common during this time of turmoil. Many religious holidays such as Rosh Hashanah, will feel very different from the norm. Shalom Lamm, CEO of project Benjamin, has developed a plan to counter any indifference some might have about celebrating Rosh Hashanah this year. On his Twitter, he speaks out about how change doesn’t have to be so frightening.
For about his whole life, Lamm has kept and treasured his Jewish heritage. He has co-founded organizations, like The Chevra Hatzolah Volunteer Ambulance Service to help his community. In addition, being the CEO of Project Benjamin has been a staple in his career. He and his team rightfully bury Jewish World War II soldiers under the Star of David. This testimony to his culture is why he has become such a successful entrepreneur. After doing research and debating with his family on how to safely celebrate Rosh Hashanah, he has developed a plan.
Tradition 1: The Shofar
This tradition will not be stagnant during 2020 celebrations. Hearing the sound of the shofar may not be as loud this year, but families can still do this. After the reading of the Torah-reading. House calls may be crucial this year if synagogues won’t be open.
Tradition 2: Candle Lighting
Although candle lighting is usually done in person, if there is no female present at the home because of quarantine, use Zoom! It is very easy to set up and all members can watch as the ladies light the candles from afar. Blessings can also be recited during those times.
Tradition 3: Greetings
Wishing family members and friends a good year will also be virtual this year. It may not be ideal because of how joyful this holiday’s nature is, but it’s definitely an alternative. Shalom has discussed this in great length on other platforms as well.
Tradition 4: Tashlich
Of course, going to a body of water to carry out this ceremony can be dangerous. If large crowds start to appear, the virus could easily spread. At least for this year, filling the sick with water or having a tub on a table will have to suffice. The prayers are the most important part of this ceremony, which can be completed anywhere.
Tradition 5: Torah Readings
Once again, live streaming services from the synagogue might be the safest and most realistic approach. That way, any responses can individually be prayed and more people can enjoy the service.
Tradition 6: The Food
One of Shalom’s favorite parts of Rosh Hashanah is the amazing food. The bread, challah, is dipped into honey to represent the sweetness of a new year approaching. Eating many other Yiddish foods such as fish, lamb, pomegranates, and tzimmes, all can be done from the comfort of one’s home. Many recipes can be found online if local stores are shut down because of the pandemic. Shalom Lamm’s Blog can be a resource for anyone struggling to find hope during this time. He wants many of his friends to understand it’s okay to compromise and still have a successful holiday. Rosh Hashannah is all about starting fresh and releasing negative energy that could be holding us down. In preparation for this celebration, remember to set times with your family to plan how to be safe. With the excitement of Jewish holidays starting to circulate, it’s easy to lose sight of possible dangers like too much outside exposure. In addition, remember to pray for those in other countries who have little resources during the pandemic. It is important to implement the strong core values of the Jewish religion every day.