Rosh Hashanah, often referred to as the Jewish New Year, marks a time of reflection, renewal, and anticipation for the year ahead. It’s a time when families gather, synagogues resonate with heartfelt prayers, and sweet customary foods grace the table. But what truly sets this occasion apart is the unique way it’s celebrated at Lester Senior Living in New Jersey.
Rosh Hashanah, which translates to “Head of the Year” in Hebrew, holds immense cultural and spiritual significance. It kicks off the High Holy Days, a period of profound inward reflection that culminates with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. This two-day observance not only commemorates the creation of the world, but also invites individuals to assess their deeds and make amends for any wrongdoings. Looking beyond the solemn aspects, Rosh Hashanah is definitely a time of joy for all who celebrate.
At Lester Senior Living, the essence of Rosh Hashanah is woven into the community’s fabric. Residents, staff, and their families come together to honor tradition and create new memories each year. The echoes of the shofar, the ram’s horn, resound through the halls, stirring the spirit and signaling the start of the festivities. Tables adorned with apples and honey, symbolizing a sweet year ahead, invite all to indulge in the promise of better times. Let’s take a closer look at how we’re celebrating this year:
Wish your apartment neighbor a “Happy New Year!”
One of the first things we do to spread Rosh Hashanah cheer is to encourage Lester residents to wish their neighbors a Happy New Year! There are many different ways to grant someone well wishes during Rosh Hashanah. Some of our favorite greetings include:
- L’shana tova: For a good year!
- Shana tova: Have a good year!
- Shana tovah u’metukah: Have a good and sweet year!
- Chag sameach: Happy holiday!
- Gmar chatima tova: A good signing/sealing! (This is a reference to the belief that our fates are “signed” on Rosh Hashanah and “sealed” on Yom Kippur.)
Go to the onsite synagogue and hear the Shofar
What makes this synagogue service different from others at Lester Senior Living is the playing of the Shofar (one of the oldest known wind instruments symbolic to Rosh Hashanah). The blowing out of air through the Shofar embodies how we must turn inward to fix ourselves first, so that we can contribute externally to the community around us. The distinct rhythm of this instrument signals the start of the ten ‘Days of Awe,’ leading up to Yom Kippur. We offer the Rosh Hashanah service at a few different times throughout the day, so all residents can choose the time that works best for them.
“Apples and Honey” Social!
Last but never least, the food! We celebrate the positivity of the upcoming year with staple foods that are usually sweet. One of our resident-favorites is the apples dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet new year. Because of the overwhelming response over the years, we decided to have an annual “Apples and Honey” social where residents can get together, eat delicious apples dipped in sweet local honey and dance the day away!
Rosh Hashanah and More Holidays at our NJ Assisted Living Community
The celebration isn’t limited to Rosh Hashanah alone. Our assisted living community in NJ embraces all Jewish holidays throughout the year. From the solemnity of Yom Kippur to the exuberance of Sukkot, each holiday is an opportunity to connect with Jewish roots, embrace community, and share in the joys of togetherness.
If you’d like to know more about senior care in the Jewish tradition, or if we are adding any new Rosh Hashanah traditions at Lester Senior Living, please call us today or visit our website at: https://jchcorp.org/