This year my husband and I have decided to make a concerted effort to celebrate Jewish Biblical holidays in our home. We've been having some pretty deep discussions about being more intentional with our family traditions. One thing we decided to do is celebrate Old Testament festivals throughout the year. While we are raising our kids in a Christian home, my husband was raised Jewish and we feel strongly about teaching our kids not only the Biblical basis behind these holidays, but also to help them understand how their Jewish cousins and extended family celebrate holidays.
The first holiday of the Jewish year is Rosh Hashanah, which happens to fall on September 17th, my birthday, this year, and it celebrates the beginning of the Jewish New Year. The Biblical basis for Rosh Hashanah, or more accurately the Feast of Trumpets, is found in Leviticus 23:23-25. I'm trying to keep our celebrations Bible focused, but sorting out tradition from Biblical concepts is turning out to be quite difficult so I'm still working on it!
During this week, the week leading up to Rosh Hashanah, I am incorporating a study of the holiday in to our homeschool. I am using parts of the Rosh Hashnah unit from the blog, A Jewish Homeschool. She has a lot of nice printables I'm planning to use throughout the year. We did the puzzle, the maze and will use the honey cake recipe to bake cakes for dessert of our Rosh Hashanah dinner.
We used this printable I found at The Shiksa in the Kitchen to make a garland, but you could also make a necklace or a matching game for a lapbook with it. She also has a nice explanation of Rosh Hashanah and what it is.
Because apples and honey are at the center of a Rosh Hashnah celebration, we made apple printed cards, which I will post tomorrow, to send to family far away wishing them a sweet New Year.
A shofar, a ram's horn, is blown during Rosh Hashanah as it is called the Feast of Trumpets. Instead of making shofars, my husband helped the kids put together Hose-A-Phone trumpets! We probably have a little bit of an advantage in making these since he is a trumpet player, but if you can get your hands on a mouthpiece, they are super fun! You can see his “Hose-A-Phone” tutorial on his blog, Mitch Gabel Brass.
I have a couple of books that I am using to plan our Rosh Hashana observance. I've been using both books for Passover for years and love them both. The first is Celebrating Biblical Feasts for Your Home or Church by Martha Zimmerman. This book includes history, a script for your meal and menu plans with recipes. It is all inclusive and I highly recommend it!
I also use Handbook of Bible Festivals by Galen Peterson, but it appears to be out of print. If you can find this one, it's a gem! It is much simpler than Zimmerman's book and includes easy to make crafts, invitations to your celebrations and some other fun ideas. It's too bad it's out of print.
I found this super cute Rosh Hashanah play set that I'm dying to get for the kids, but I know my limits! I'm thinking I might be able to piece something like it together using felt food and some thrifted tableware.
For dinner I'm planning to make Honey Orange Chicken, glazed carrots, challah bread, kasha varnishkes, a green veggie, and honey cakes for dessert.
I've had a lot of fun teaching my kids about the Feast of Trumpets so far this week and am looking forward to our year long adventure of learning about Jewish holidays.
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