Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the Jewish New Year. On this day, which starts at sunset, families gather for a traditional meal, blessing food and wishing for the incoming year to be a good one. Some families go to synagogue for special prayers, some use it as a day of rest and others take advantage of this downtime to travel, party and relax.
Keep in mind that kosher bars and restaurants will be closed and public transportation will not be running like on Shabbat (Saturday) and other holidays.
Here are a few ideas of what you can do during this Holiday:
To really experience Rosh Hashanah, spend it with a family. If it is your own, great, but even if not, and you are invited by one – GO! You may not know the family well but you will learn about the blessing and traditions, taste the unique holiday food, feel the warmth of family around you and you may even get a kick of observing family politics and interactions. Come with a nice bottle of wine to give to the hosts, dress up a bit (a suit is usually not required) and be our guest!
If you are looking for a Synagogue on Rosh Hashanah to observe this holiday or if you just want to experience the full range of Jewish traditions in Israel, check out these Synagogues in Tel Aviv which reach out to international travelers:
The Tel Aviv International Synagogue: It is one of the oldest Synagogues in Tel Aviv and it conducts its services in both English and Hebrew. It also holds dinners and receptions with champagne, wine, and food. A great place to meet fellow travelers.
Chabad on the Coast: In the heart of Tel Aviv, the first English speaking Chabad House. It hosts fun activities, holiday services and meals for many young professionals.
Get to know Israel! This is the perfect time to explore a place you have not seen before in Israel. Luckily, Israel is not too big and it’s easy to reach the desert in the South, the hills and mountains in the North, and everything in between. The weather is great and different tourist locations are expecting people to travel and have prepared special events and attractions. Keep in mind there is no public transportation available.
The scorching summer months are behind us and winter is still far off – this is the perfect time to head to the beach. The outside temperatures are still warm, the water is cool (but not cold), the jellyfish, which come at the beginning of summer, is a faint memory and there are fewer crowds – what more can you ask for?! Grab a towel, some sunscreen, and you’re set.
Now all you have to do is choose one, a couple or maybe even all of these to enjoy. Hag Sameach! (Happy Holiday!)