Blogging in a Pandemic: Rosh Hashanah 5781

What a very strange time we live in. A year ago I was preoccupied with moving my mother to Massachusetts and trying to help her find a way to settle into her new surroundings. I had no idea what to expect in the year to come. I really had no idea—who could have imagined what 5780, or what we ordinarily call 2020, would bring?

I have not blogged since late April about the way the pandemic has affected my life. Somehow I adjusted to the new, bizarre reality. Doing most things by Zoom, taking walks in new places, social distancing, and wearing masks—it all just started to become some form of an ordinary routine. Yes, there was always this underlying anxiety and fear of getting sick or having someone I care about get sick. But the change in routine became acceptable most of the time. All I kept saying was, “If only I could be with my family—hug and kiss my children and grandchildren—I could accept all these other restrictions.”

During the summer we started moving in that direction. We got tested and spent several days with our grandsons and their parents in August. My younger daughter came to spend my birthday with me, and I couldn’t resist a birthday hug.

The summer almost felt normal in some ways although we were terribly sad to miss our traditional week with the family on the Cape. The beach was hardly crowded, so we could walk without masks and sit and read like we always do.  We didn’t eat out like we ordinarily do, and in town we had to wear masks, but overall being on the Cape was as restorative and relaxing as it always has been.

But summer is almost over. Rosh Hashanah is for me the first real sign that fall is upon us. And we spent a lot of time in the last month wondering how in the world we would celebrate the holiday. A Zoom Passover was a novelty and was truly special; but the novelty of Zoom has worn off, and Rosh Hashanah is a different kind of holiday. Passover is centered on the home—the seder is its central ritual. Rosh Hashanah is centered on the synagogue—listening to the service, hearing the shofar, being in the sanctuary, seeing our friends. We can’t be in the synagogue this year. And frankly, watching services by Zoom really isn’t very appealing. Though we will try.

So we’ve decided that we have to do something more than sit home alone and watch a service on our computer. We all got tested this week, and my daughters, son-in-law, and grandsons will be coming to stay with us for the holiday. No amount of apples and honey will be sweeter than that.

By Gilabrand (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Shana tova to you all. May 5781 be a happier, healthier year for all people all over the world.

(I will be taking a break from blogging until next week.)

28 thoughts on “Blogging in a Pandemic: Rosh Hashanah 5781

  1. Our fifth grandchild was born in July. Due to the pandemic, we have only seen our little Hannah virtually, using zoom like you with the proud parents and baby in attendance. Once a week, we feel their presence and have a chat with our son and daughter-in-law and marvel at God’s great gift to our growing family. Nevertheless, all that technology cannot replace a real face to face meeting. Too sad!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Amy, great photo’s and good to read your news. The beach looks amazing. It seems pretty weird here too with mostly the synagogues and churches being closed up since March. Enjoy
    Rosh Hashanah with your family. Such a special time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. L’shana tova tikateyvu Amy. Wishing you and your family happiness and togetherness in the year ahead.

    I’m not sure I’ve got the greeting right, but as it’s Maori Lanuage week here, I am more conscious of trying to respect others’ language so hopefully I haven’t said anything offensive.

    So glad you are able to spend time with your whanau.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shana tovah. I hope you had a wonderful time with your family. Like so many of us I have been mourning the loss of RBG and fearing for the future of our country and the world.
    Your New Year message was beautiful. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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