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On Rosh Hashanah, it is a tradition to eat simanim, foods that are symbolic of blessings you would like in your life in the new year. Over time, different communities have added different foods to this list and given each one of them specific symbolism. Infuse your year with mental wellness with our mental health simanim!
During the High Holidays, as we consider the decisions we want to make for our future, we may be bogged down by the notion of committing to them. We may even feel paralyzed by the fear of making a wrong decision. But we need to accept that while we have the potential to make a wrong decision, we also have the power to make ones that lead us in the right direction.
On Yom Kippur we must recognize the Jewish approach to reflecting on wrongdoings and not despair. We try to hold onto hope and persevere, recognizing the only way forward is to keep moving. In life we dip or sway and even move backward at times, but as long as we are moving somewhere, we are on a path toward growth.
Depending on the traditions of a person’s specific Jewish community, a death by suicide can include all of the same prayers and rituals as any other death.However, we should remember the particular sensitivities around death by suicide and the family and friends who survive. We offer some prayers and rituals, written by survivors, you might use or adapt.
A cheshbon hanefesh is an analysis of the ways in which we can do and be better to ourselves (which, of course, can have an impact on the world around us). It provides a benchmark by which we can measure our progress and see if our goals have changed, and it allows us to think about how best to move forward based on what has worked and what hasn’t. Give it a try!