5781/2020: When prayers for a sweet ‘new’ year started early and ended late

September 4, 2020

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When it comes to praying for a sweet New Year, this community is in overtime. Since Pandemic 2020 hijacked every aspect of life and living in March, synagogues have been immersed in the overnight challenge of implementing ways to touch members without physical contact.

With no official pandemic end date from the “Immunology Gods,” it’s equally challenging for individuals and families to plan ahead—but not impossible to think about the future.

With a slight twist on Rosh Hashanah, some of the members of Jewish Tidewater learned to look forward to the arrival of ‘tomorrow,’ just by being grateful for today.

Fay Silverman
As the holidays approach, I’m thinking about what I am most looking forward to in the New Year. I do not think I am different than anyone else. We have been missing so much the past months. We all want more laughter and hugs. I yearn to spend time with family and friends—I especially miss squeezing my grandson. I look forward to having friends over for dinner parties and not being worried to eat out at our favorite restaurants. I look forward to going on trips, flying on planes, and visiting new places. I look forward to visiting my sister in Hawaii, my cousins in Florida, my friends and family in Europe and Israel, and especially my son in Maryland and my grandson in Texas (have I said it enough?). I look forward to a world of kindness and consideration, of understanding and empathy, of civil responsibility and justice. But mostly, I look forward to a sweet year.

David and Alex Calliott
Going over to my grandparents’ house and all of us sitting around the table, drinking wine, eating delicious food, and discussing what we are looking forward to in the New Year. We always have a fun time when we get together, with lots of stories and warm conversation.

Tal Feldman
The thing I am most looking forward to this year is that the virus will go away and we will all go back to our normal life.

I just miss spending time with my mother-in-law and having the option to travel and visit my family without having issues or something to stop me from doing that.

I do feel like things will get better this year, so I’m staying positive!

Chamie and Sender Haber
With children attending three separate schools with three sets of rules to keep them safe, we pray that our children and Jews around the world embrace their new beginnings to grow and to thrive. Having witnessed G-d’s ability to change the entire world, we pray for a year of positive change for all of mankind. Wishing everyone a beautiful and sweet year.

Rita Frank
From the earliest time I can remember, the fall religious holidays have been about relationships and connection, the sharing with family and friends of holiday rituals both within the synagogue and within our homes. It was a time to appreciate what we had, repair what we could, and think about how we could make things better in the future. This year presents a challenge for me. How to do what I have always done, but now socially isolated and separated from family and friends except through a virtual lens? I have not completely solved this problem, but I have decided to reach out through writing to all those I hold dear. I am planning to write personal letters to those who have made my life so blessed and expressing my gratitude to them, telling them by remembered shared events what they have meant to me in my life. Quieting myself, I will focus again on relationship and connection but in a deeper, more mindful, way.

Amy Metzger
This year I am most looking forward to sharing meaningful times with my children while they are still so young and full of imagination. Since unfortunately we will not have our normal High Holiday service routine at OST, we will host family and friends at our home and on the beach. My children, Layla and Major, always love setting the table scape for the “kids table” by gathering pomegranates and figs from our neighbors’ yards—so with the extra time on our hands, this New Year will be all-hands-on-deck to incorporate new and old traditions.

Stacie & Marc Moss
As the year 5781 approaches we are comforted by our continued good fortune. Our three children are all in healthy, happy relationships, and we are excited to have the simcha of our daughter getting married. Chag Sameach!

- Lisa Richmon

Letter to the Editor