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Study and Theory/
Rosh Hashana

Ayala Gilad

Holiday’s reception for the family

Kibbutz Ein Gedi

The need for a kind of 'Haggadah' (a tale) for Rosh Hashana came to me when we wanted to celebrate the holiday at home with one of our children and four of our grandchildren (after celebrating with the whole kibbutz on the lawn the previous night).

Suddenly I saw that I was standing there as an empty vessel and that I had nothing to offer for the holiday ceremony around the table, as they do on Passover. I realized that religious and traditional people experience all the holiday rituals in the synagogue, with the women and girls watching from their section and not taking an active part. For us, the kibbutzniks, the traditional Jewish content of the holiday had been lost and all that was left was the second evening, in which we conducted a "This was the year that passed" review of the passing year using words, sound, videos, selecting the people of the year, etc.

I asked myself: How can we, secular Jews, can preserve the Jewish tradition with its deep and wise contents, its beautiful songs that come out of the heart and nourish the soul and its folklore that distinguish us from all the nations? How will we pass the tearful spark in the eyes of Grandfather Gedaliah (my husband's father) and Grandpa Yehuda (my father) when they sang "And purify our hearts" and "We have an old melody" and remembered the home of their father who perished in the Holocaust? ....

On the other hand - one must also consider how to preserve the magnificent cultural creation created by the kibbutz movement - so beautifully expressed in the Passover Haggadah, for example - which I am not at all certain we have developed enough tools to preserve with all the changes and privatizations (bless the archives of the Kibbutz movement) ....

Therefore, I collected and edited various passages from the Jewish sources and those written in the secular-Zionist-pioneer wing of the Land of Israel and tried to integrate them into one tractate. In the meantime, it is an experimental piece that one can add to and subtract from and it may be transferred to whomever you want. I would be happy to hear your comments.

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