If You’re Turning to New Jewish Rituals Right Now, You’re Not Alone

Even those not as traditionally observant are coping with feelings of grief and anger in a very Jewish way.

In times of crisis, many of us find ourselves turning to rituals that we don’t normally do — and what we are experiencing now is definitely a time of crisis.

The past two weeks, as the Hey Alma team has met to discuss how to best show up for our readers and community, we’ve found ourselves sharing the Jewish rituals we’ve been building into our lives (or are now actively looking for) to help cope with our feelings of grief and anger.

One of us mentioned joining a community Mourner’s Kaddish that moved her to tears. Another has started saying a single tehillim, or psalm, before bed each night. Another has been listening to a playlist of 13 different versions of “Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu” she stumbled upon on Spotify. We all cope in different ways!

We realized if we’re leaning into ritual, you probably are, too. So we asked the Hey Alma community to share what Jewish rituals you’ve been practicing. Here is a collection of your thoughts.

Jewish Rituals From the Hey Alma Community

Singing along to Jewish music from my childhood

Reading from my childhood siddur every day

Wearing my Star of David necklace for the first time in 20 years

Lighting Shabbat candles

Celebrating Shabbat with my family, friends and chosen family


Praying, even though I’m agnostic

Praying, even though I usually don’t

Praying, even though I’m not religious

Saying Birkat Kohahim every time I separate from my children lately, even though I’m nontheist

Saying the Shema

Saying a prayer each morning in gratitude for making my kid breakfast

Making so much challah

Going to synagogue even when I’m too tired to function

Attending Shabbat services

Saying the Hashkiveinu every night

Watching Jewish movies — they always help lift my spirits

Hosting big Shabbat potlucks

Lighting yarzheit/memorial candles for the dead and the grieving

Seeking Jewish spaces/community that mirror and can hold my specific double grief

Reciting Oseh Shalom nightly

Seeking out Jewish texts

Reconnecting with Jewish friends

Carrying around a little zohar for spiritual/physical protection

Covering my hair when I go out

Widening my Jewish communal circle beyond my friends/synagogue/city/denomination

Printing and hanging prayers around my home to see daily

Relearning Hebrew

Reading tehillim

Going to hear Shiurim (a lecture on Torah), which I had never done before

Reciting Mi Sheberach

Finally putting up our mezuzah

Putting tefillin on daily

Stopping by my local Chabad for challah and shabbat candles

Observing more mitzvot

Keeping kosher


Saying the Mourner’s Kaddish daily

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