I hear from a lot of people that feel badly that their Jewish holidays are not huge affairs with dozens of people. Sometimes it’s empty nesters that don’t have their kids around, or people in communities that don’t have a lot of Jews, or sometimes just people that don’t have a lot of Jewish friends and family around. I can completely relate to this because for the first year or two that I started celebrating Jewish holidays, I couldn’t “fill” my table with family and friends because all the people I knew at the time felt Judaism was scary and religious (at least that is what they said, but maybe it was my cooking!) Anyway, I’m here to tell you that your small Rosh Hashanah celebration can be beautiful and meaningful.
Even if it is just you and your friend or spouse, go ahead and set the table as lovely and as formal as you can. Here I show a table set for six, although it would be just as pretty set for four or two. Get the chargers out, fancy fold your napkins, and put out all the cutlery. Even if you aren’t having salad, put out the salad fork! If you are setting a table for two on a big table, place the food in serving platters on the table, so it doesn’t feel empty.
This super simple centerpiece with two pomegranates and seeded eucalyptus is pretty as well as symbolic for Rosh Hashanah.
Even with just a couple of people, go ahead and put out a place card. On the back, write a custom blessing for the New Year for your “guest.” Have someone write one for you too, so it is a nice surprise when you sit down at the table.
When your table is beautifully set, step back and say a blessing of gratitude (even if you don’t feel like it). It will make you feel better and if you want to, commit the new year to broadening your Jewish community.
These wonderful photos all provided by B & G Photography.