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How To Survive Rosh Hashanah With Your Family

Despite the apples and honey you eat to signify a sweet new year, spending Rosh Hashanah with your family can make life sour. Here is how to get through the holiday without breaking the shofar over someone's head.


  • Step 1: Leave during the sermon. Who wants to deal with a parking-lot traffic jam as epic as the exodus?
  • Step 2: Normally, there's dinner with the family, part deux. But you can beat the system by finagling an invitation to someone else's house or volunteering at a soup kitchen.
  • Step 3: Brace yourself, cause Yom Kippur is right around the corner!
  • FACT: The shofar is made from a ram's horn, so someone suffered more than you for Rosh Hashanah.
  • TIP: Go to the bathroom right before the long sections where the ark is open. Not only will you miss having to stand, but you won't be let back in until everyone is reseated.
  • Step 4: While the Rabbi is yappin' away, take the time to reflect on the past year—or simply catch up on some sleep.
  • Step 5: When the challah gets passed around at dinner, rip off the biggest piece you can. Who knows how good the rest of the food will be.
  • Step 6: Leave the minute dinner is done, explaining that you need to be up early for Temple.
  • Step 7: Be late to Temple. You'll avoid traffic, miss the pre-service handshaking and baby-kissing, and have less ceremony to sit through.
  • TIP: Sit in the back row, where no one can see you doodling or napping.
  • Step 8: Pour yourself a glass of kosher wine—you've got a God-sanctioned excuse to take a day off from work!

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