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Teaching Children the Meaning of High Holy Days

Posted by: Lisa Yoskowitz, ECE Director

The High Holy Days are almost here, which means life is about to get very, very busy — if it hasn’t already. This time of year, brings a special kind of panic upon Jewish families across the globe. Capturing the beautiful meaning of the holidays can be a challenging task for young families. So here’s your guide to helping the holidays go smoothly. I can’t promise seamlessness, but there’s no shame in wishing and hoping! The first thing to do is to mark your calendar!  This one sounds simple, but it’s all too easy to forget. Put the holidays into your calendar now and your busy life just might be transformed.

Services are something that many families approach with mixed emotions. The “obligation” of having to attend versus “wanting” to attend. The gift of going to services is that there is truly something for everyone. But what does it take to have a meaningful service? You need to do your “spiritual homework” to prepare for this. Why not assign spiritual self-care homework to yourself? Reflect upon who you are, who you could be, and who you should be. Whether you are Jewish, or part of a Jewish family, or not Jewish at all, opening yourself up to some self-reflection, can only enhance the services that you choose to attend. Bringing spirituality to the forefront by reflecting on the past year is the key to taking the holidays to the next level. So share your reflections with your children and partner. Ask them for their input, as well. What they say may surprise you! Dedicate time to speak to each member of your family (from the youngest to the oldest) about the year that has passed and the year that lies ahead. Share ways you have missed the mark, say you’re sorry, and make time for them to do the same. Offer and receive hugs. May the High Holy Days bring you peace and contentment and may the sweetness of the New Year be with you always. 


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