Try these Tashlich tips to safely cast off your sins this Rosh Hashanah

By Student Rabbi Emily Dana

While we can’t be physically together Rosh Hashanah afternoon for Tashlich (the throwing of bread or birdseed into water to represent the casting off of our sins), here are some resources that will help you observe on your own.

This holiday season may be very different than the ones that you have experienced in the past, and that is OK. Do your best to create sacred space and time in any way that works for you.

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UHC re-imagines High Holy Days in the spirit of ‘pikuach nefesh’, sets virtual services

Continuing its practice that began in March with the onset of COVID-19, UHC will conduct virtual High Holidays services to welcome the New Year 5781, with Student Rabbi Emily Dana officiating via Zoom and congregants and guests joining from their homes in Terre Haute and around the country.

“This year will be like no other because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” writes UHC president Betsy Frank. “In fact, many are calling this a year of re-imagining the High Holy Days.

“No doubt our re-imagining brings mixed feelings, including feelings of grief. We know we cannot be together in our beautiful sanctuary. Yet, we know in our hearts that pikuach nefesh, a Hebrew term for “saving a life”, is a sacred Jewish value. Saving a life means no in-person services.”

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UHC’s first virtual seder closes with the promise, ‘Next year in Terre Haute!’

UHC has long found quiet distinction among small congregations by steadfastly continuing its tradition of Friday night Shabbat services, even as others fall by the wayside.

The congregation typically draws a minyan, if not better, on Shabbat, and monthly visits from the student rabbi inspire even better turnout (along with challah and pastry bakers motivated to share their handiwork at the oneg.)

COVID-19 social distancing precautions threatened to to interrupt that commitment — and did, for a single week as UHC canceled its scheduled March 20 service.

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At this year’s Passover seder, we are all the son who does not know how to ask

By Student Rabbi Remy Liverman

As we begin the Hebrew month of Nisan and prepare to celebrate Passover, never before has a discussion about plagues and a deep cleaning of our homes felt more relevant.

These strange and challenging times of COVID-19 would seem to take precedence over holidays. But there is so much we can learn from the seder, both in ritual and narrative.

We ask the Four Questions in Ma Nishtana: “Why is this night different from all other nights?”

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