Saturday, September 7, 2013

Rosz ha-Szana (Rosh Hashanah) at the Kibbutz

Yesterday was the closing of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  Here in Warsaw, there happens to be a Jewish 'kibbutz' (kibuc) located on Jazdów called Kibuc Warszawa.  It's in an old 'Finnish' house, as are all houses on Jazdów.  (The Finnish Houses will actually be the topic of another post).  I say "kibbutz" because it's really not an agricultural collective, more of collective 'camp' (that's how I see it, anyway).  The kibbutz is run by ZOOM, the Polish Youth organization.
The Rosh Hashanah celebration was an open invitation to Jews and Gentiles alike.  The whole thing kicked off at sunset around a heavily laden table with food and wine (there was a cash bar too that it was pretty cheap).  One who was 'the Rabbi' gave a lecture about Rosh Hashanah, the Sabbath, and the High Holy Days.  He performed the ceremony and said the proper prayers (he did, however, omit the hand washing).  Few men in the crowd wore their yamulkas (I totally rocked mine as I take advantage of the few opportunities to do so), but enough were able to recite the prayers in Hebrew.  Challah (chalka) was blessed and passed around for all to tear off a chunk.  After the blessings and prayers, we toasted each other with slices of apple and pomegranate for a sweet new year.  The table was then opened up for all to feast.
There was no blowing of the shofars, which disappointed me, because I was looking forward to a good horn-blowing concert.  But, there was an unexpected feast, so I can't complain.

The table with fruit, cakes, hummus, fish, bread, chicken, and much more.

Luckily, it happened during a mild Indian summer.  The night was cool, but not cold, and one warmed up quickly while dancing (though the DJ could have been a little bit better).  A good way to ring in new year.

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