Home Lifestyles Religion The Jewish High Holydays Begin on October 3rd

The Jewish High Holydays Begin on October 3rd


Sept. 27, 2005 – At sundown on Monday, Oct. 3, Jews all around the world will usher in the New Year with the celebration of Rosh Hashanah (literally, "Head of the Year"). According to Jewish tradition, it is the year 5766, starting with the creation of the world. It opens a ten-day period of introspection and soul searching – searching out the flaws in our own lives, our own characters and resolving to do better in the New Year. The Ten Days of Repentance culminates with the Holiest Day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Recognizing that we have sinned and gone astray, we atone for our mistakes, resolve to do better and know that the gates of repentance are always open. God wants not the death of the sinners – only that the sinners repent of their ways.
The sounding of the Shofar, or ram's horn, is intended as a wake-up call. During a dramatic series of readings, the Shofar is sounded repeatedly during the morning service in a series of notes.
In St. Thomas, the historic Hebrew Congregation – the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the United States – will hold services led by Rabbi Starr and Cantor Josee Wolff. Rabbi Starr will be celebrating his fourth High Holyday season with the congregation. Cantor Wolff is the Director of Student Placement at the School of Sacred Music in New York and is the guest Cantor for these High Holydays.
Children in the religious school of the synagogue have been studying about special traditions of the High Holydays and have baked special challah breads for use at the synagogue's New Year's meal which will follow the evening service.
One of the traditions on Rosh Hashanah is to cast away one's sins on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah. The congregation will gather to do this as a community on Magens Bay on Tuesday afternoon, followed by a picnic supper at the beach.
For information about the service schedule, please call the synagogue office: 774-4312.


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