Gabe Weinstein, our man in India, writes today at the Ohio University study abroad blog about spending Rosh Hashanah with some of the Jews of Mumbai. A member of the Jewish community there discovered him via Facebook (because of this recent piece Gabe did for New Voices), which led to him spending the holiday with the man’s congregation — and attending their Rosh Hashanah seder:
After the security procedures, I finally entered the powder blue sanctuary and scanned the diverse crowd. The congregation was made up of Israelis and Americans working and traveling in Mumbai, and members of the local Jewish community. Congregants ranged from synagogue regulars like Nathaniel and his family, to an American music industry executive on his way to Germany. (I later learned the music executive is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and discovered The Ramones, Madonna and The Talking Heads).
After prayers, the congregation shuttled down to the synagogue’s basement for a Rosh Hashanah seder. Most people have probably heard of a Passover seder. Members of Jewish communities tracing their roots to Spain, the Middle East and India also mark Rosh Hashanah with a seder. During the ceremony blessings are said over almonds, pomegranates, a ram’s head, pumpkin and grapes. The different items are meant to bring good fortune for the upcoming year.
Anyway, go check out the rest of the post. It only gets cooler from there.
And if you want to read more about the escapades of Jews in far-flung places, check out another blog we run, the Global Jewish Voice.