Everything is strange right now, not least the High Holy Day observances which begin this weekend. I have decided not to go to the synagogue this year for Rosh Hashonah (New Year) or for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). I know that the Synagogue Committee have done their best to make the place Covid safe but I also know what I'm like. I won't have seen most of the congregants in person (I'm not counting Zoom) for over six months and I'll be tempted to linger on the way in or on the way out. I'll start to chat and I'll forget about social distancing. This year I'll say some prayers at home.
I can still serve up apple and honey for a sweet new year. I've bought in lots of lovely food and I'll do some extra cooking and maybe even some baking today and tomorrow in anticipation. On Yom Kippur we say special prayers in memory of family who have died. This year I'll sit in the garden, read through the prayers and think of Mum and Dad. I don't have to be in a special place to do that. Their memories are always with me. However, we are meant to hear the blowing of the shofar (a ram's horn) during the High Holy Day services. I don't have a shofar but the Rabbi has promised to walk past my house blowing his shofar on Sunday afternoon. So for anybody living nearby - you have been warned!
There's little more to say other than l'shanah tovah (happy new year) and here's hoping for a happy, healthy, peaceful and sweet new year for us all - and let's hope the scientists can discover a cure and vaccination for this awful infection very soon so that our lives can return to normal.