Auckland celebrates Rosh Hashanah in lockdown

The news that Rosh Hashanah would be spent in strict lockdown was daunting at best, and crushing at worst. The familiarity of spending Rosh Hashanah dinner with family, the anticipation of hearing the shofar on this momentous day, of spending time in prayer and meditation at shul. What would it look like this year? Would it still feel like Rosh Hashanah?
Having closed the shul doors at the start of lockdown, our priority immediately became making sure every Jewish family had the ability to celebrate a beautiful Yom Tov at home. Over 70 honey cakes were baked, 40 honey muffins, and over 100 round challahs braided. Packages were packed with love and care, complete with wine, grape juice, and a Rosh Hashanah dinner guide complete with kiddish and the simanim.
Thank you to all who joined the ZOOM class on Sunday night with Rabbi Hecht, who shared stories and insight about Rosh Hashanah, helping gear us up for a meaningful yom tov at home.
If there is one thing this lockdown has taught me, it’s that when there’s a will, you find a way. The dear friends and locals who delivered packages to neighbor’s doors in time for Rosh Hashanah. The way every family took the time to put extra effort into celebrating Rosh Hashanah at home, and making it meaningful for their kids. The neighbors who braved the rain on Rosh Hashanah to stand out on the street and hear the shofar being blown from the driveway. The amazing positivity of community members, always ready to help when possible, and patiently waiting for this lockdown to end. Let’s hope it’s soon.
Shana Tova!