High Holiday Guide

If human beings can mess something up, they will. What follows is a tongue-in-cheek "Guide" to the High Holidays of Rosh HaShana (the New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

[Purportedly, a serious letter from a congregational board to all members:]


During the last holiday season, many individuals expressed concern
over the seating arrangements in the synagogue. In order for us to place
you in a seat which will best suit you, we ask you to complete the following
questionnaire and return it to the synagogue office as soon as possible.

1. I would prefer to sit in the... (Check one:)

___ Talking section

___ No talking section

2. If talking, which category do you prefer? (Indicate order of


___ Stock market

___ Sports

___ Medicine

___ Congregants' secret medical tragedies

___ General gossip

___ Specific gossip (choose:)

___ The rabbi

___ The cantor

___ The cantor's voice

___ The cantor's wife/husband

___ The cantor's wife/husband's voice

___ The rabbi

___ The rabbi's "secretary"

___ Fashion news

___ What others are wearing

___ Why they look awful

___ Your neighbors

___ Your relatives

___ Your neighbors' relatives

___ Presidential Election

___ Sex (Preference:______________________)

___ Who's cheating on/having an affair with whom


3. Which of the following would you like to be near for free

professional advice?

___ Doctor

___ Dentist

___ Nutritionist

___ Psychiatrist

___ Child psychiatrist

___ Mother in law

___ Podiatrist

___ Chiropractor

___ Stockbroker

___ Accountant

___ Lawyer

___ Criminal

___ Civil

___ Real estate agent

___ Architect

___ Plumber

___ Buyer (Specify store:_______________________

___ Sexologist

___ Golf pro [tentative; we're still trying to find a

Jewish one]


___ On the aisle

___ Near the exit

___ Near the window

___ In Aruba

___ Near the bathroom

___ Near my in-laws

___ As far away from my ex-in-laws as possible

___ Near the pulpit

___ Near the Kiddush table

___ Near single men

___ Near available women

___ Where no one on the bimah (raised stage in front of the cabinet holding a scroll or scrolls of Torah, from which the services are led) can see/hear me talking during services

___ Where no one will notice me sleeping during


___ Where I can sleep during the rabbi's sermon

[additional charge]

5. (Orthodox only.) I would like a seat where:

___ I can see my spouse over the mechitza (curtain

separating the sexes)

___ I cannot see my spouse over the mechitza

___ I can see my friend's spouse over the mechitza

___ My spouse cannot see me looking at my friend's

spouse over the mechitza

6. Please do not place me anywhere near the following people:

Limit of six; if you require more space, you may wish to consider

joining another congregation.)







Your name:_________________________________

Building fund pledge: $________________________


Dear Lord:

    May we get a clean bill of health from our dentist, our

our opthalmologist, our cardiologist, our gastroenterologist, our


our proctologist, our gynecologist, our podiatrist, our plumber and the


May our hair, our teeth, our facelift, our abs, our honey cakes, and


stocks not fall and may our blood pressure, our triglycerides, our

cholesterol, our white bood count, our weight and our mortgage interest


not rise.

May we find a way to travel from anywhere to anywhere in the rush hour

in less than an hour and when we get there, may we find a parking space.

May we all relax about the third millennium of the common era, and

realize that we still have 239 years until the dawn of the sixth

of the Hebrew calendar by which time the computer will be long since


and so will we.

May we be awe-struck by G-d's sense of humor as we realize that he

really does not want us to touch our toes while exercising or he would

put them further up our bodies; and, the reason so many of us take up


is to hear heavy breathing again.

May what we see in the mirror delight us and what others see in us,

delight them.

May someone, as well as G-d, love us enough to forgive our faults, be

blind to our blemishes and tell the world about our virtues.

May the telemarketers wait until after we finish dinner to call us.


our checkbooks and budgets balance and may they include generous amounts



May we remember to say "I love you" at least once a day to our spouse,

our child, our parent, all of our significant others but not our boss,

intern, our nurse, our masseur, our hairdresser or our tennis

And may the Messiah come this year, and if he does not, may we live as

if he has, in a world at peace, with awareness of G-d's love in every


flower, baby's smile, lover's kiss, and every wonderful astonishing beat

our heart. May we smile and laugh throughout the year.

L'Shana Tova (For a good year!)

On Rosh Hashanah, there is a ceremony called Tashlich.

[This ceremony first appeared during Europe's Middle Ages. Many Jewish thinkers, then and now, regard it as "not Jewish." Other people regard it as holy. It is, after all, a fairly old practice - and therefore "a Tradition."]

Some Jews traditionally go to the ocean or a stream or river to
pray and throw bread crumbs into the water. Symbolically,
the fish devour their sins.

Occasionally, people ask what kind of bread crumbs should
be thrown. Here are suggestions for breads which may be
most appropriate for specific sins and misbehaviors:

For ordinary sins

White Bread

For erotic sins

French Bread

For particularly dark sins


For complex sins


For twisted sins


For tasteless sins

Rice Cakes

For sins of indecision


For sins committed in haste


For sins of chutzpah

Fresh Bread

For substance abuse

Stoned Wheat

For use of heavy drugs

Poppy Seed bread

For petty larceny


For committing auto theft

Caraway bread

For timidity/cowardice

Milk Toast

For ill-temperedness


For silliness, eccentricity

Nut Bread

For not giving full value


For jingoism, chauvinism

Yankee Doodles

For excessive irony

Rye Bread

For unnecessary chances

Hero Bread

For telling bad jokes/puns

Corn Bread

For war-mongering

Kaiser Rolls

For dressing immodestly


For causing injury to others


For lechery and promiscuity

Hot Buns

For promiscuity with gentiles

Hot Cross Buns

For racist attitudes


For sophisticated racism

Ritz Crackers

For being holier than thou

Bagels (bagels/holes)

For abrasiveness


For dropping in without notice


For over-eating


For impetuosity

Quick Bread

For indecent photography


For raising your voice too often


For pride and egotism

Puff Pastry

For being overly smothering

Angel Food Cake

For laziness

Any long loaf

For trashing the environment


For those who require a wide selection of crumbs, we

suggest a Tashlich Mix available in three grades

(Taslich Lite, Medium, and Industrial Strength) at

your favorite Jewish bookstore.


Home | About Us | Articles | Newsletter | Seven Laws | FAQs | Community | Contact Us | Contribute

© Copyright 2005-2013
The First Covenant Foundation