Rosh HaShana for the Millennial Generation
For those looking to be more spiritually connected, especially millennials who eschew rigidity for passion and self-expression, sitting in a synagogue for hours on end, reading meaningless prayers is not very appealing. But they are not alone. The Rosh HaShana themes of judgment and confession do not resonate with many and, in fact, can alienate us even further from our religious roots. Here is how to have a rich spiritual Rosh HaShana experience that will take you to the spiritual heights you seek.
1. What Impact did you have on the World?
Whether you go to synagogue or spend the day alone, Rosh HaShana is a time to reflect on how our actions have impacted the world. In Judaism, the process of self-reflection is external. If you are in synagogue staring at the long list of confessions, don’t get turned off. Meditate on how you interacted with the world around you.
2. Spirituality is Not a Solo Act
As a spiritual seeker, remember that you have the power to shift the balance of morality in the world. Use the breaks and quiet time in synagogue, or go outside and think about how you contributed to the moral balance of society.
3. Separation and Return
To go deep inside, one needs to separate from the distractions of life. Go watch the sunset, maybe go to the beach or lake and do tashlich alone and take your inner journey. But we do not live alone, we live with others. From our separate journey we must return. Seek out those you may have hurt and apologize. This process will enable your soul to soar.
4. Connection to a Higher Power
The synagogue may be chaotic, over-crowded, foreign, but in the end, Rosh HaShana is about connection, to each other and to that higher power. The prayers are meant to help us climb that spiritual ladder, but there is no rule that you have to keep up or follow along. Connect to the One in your own way, deepen your soul, repair the wrongs you have done to others, and draw close to the source of all life.