Discover Rosh Hashanah: Making Synagogue Meaningful

1) Five minutes of prayer said with understanding, feeling, and a personal connection to the words and their significance means far more than five hours of lip service. I love this tip. This tip could change someone's synagogue and prayer service. As a school teacher, I understand the importance of relating every lesson to my students and their lives and the same goes for prayer. This is the only way of making it meaningful and memorable. 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. Like every aspect of life, not every situation is going to be perfect or life changing. Therefore, it is unrealistic to go into synagogue with the expectation that you are going to change your life with every prayer. However, if you stay open minded you will find the prayers that speak to you and you can connect with. 5) You’re not that proficient in Hebrew? Don’t worry, G-d understands whatever language you speak. And, like a loving parent, He can discern what’s in your heart even if you can’t quite express it the way you would like. As someone who is not proficient in Hebrew, this tip spoke to me, I often find myself in synagogue, looking towards the English translated side over and over. When I don't understand the Hebrew, I let the language I do know guide me. Therefore, I don't get frustrated and I might even learn some Hebrew. The tip that I would give to someone would be to go into synagogue with an open mind and heart and be willing to open up and connect with new people. Having people at your synagogue to bond with, learn from, go to and from synagogue with, can lead to bigger spiritual revelations, incredible friendship, love, family, community and warmth.

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Aleeza Novak
Israel Recharge '16

Points Earned: 8