Discover Rosh Hashanah: Making Synagogue Meaningful

3) Read through the prayers and slowly think about what you’re saying and don’t be overly concerned about being behind. Look, the worst that could happen is that you will fall behind, but don’t worry, they’ll probably announce the pages so you can always catch up. - In my opinion, this tip is very important to me. Im usually concerned with what it is exactly I'm pronouncing and if I sound funny. If I stop thinking like that and actually slow down to try to understand the meaning then I will make it more meaningful for myself and not worry about if Im following along exactly page by page. 2) “Unfulfilled expectations lead to self-imposed frustrations.” Therefore, don’t expect to be “moved” by every prayer or to follow along with the entire service. - My first prayer service, I believed I was going to have a powerful moving experience the whole way through and that definitely was not the case. I was taking everything in slowly and analyzing the rabbi, the room, and the prayer being said. I felt myself distracted at times and not paying attention 100 percent. However, there were few moments where I actually enjoyed the feeling I got when I followed along and watched others. Another tip, which I can take away from is not worrying over the fact that I don't speak Hebrew and might not pronounce the prayers properly. As long as I'm trying, is what counts. One tip I can suggest to others is to not care about how you look and just be in the moment. So many people are nervous about how they look or sound and that should not matter when you are attending a prayer service. It is about being in the moment and feeling connected to the Jewish community you are a part of.

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Yelena Reznik

Points Earned: 8