Sound the shofar and say, “L’shanah tovah,” a good new year. Tonight rings in Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Unlike the more familiar New Year’s Day on Jan. 1, Rosh Hashana is about introspection – reflecting on and seeking forgiveness for sins the year past.
Services will begin tonight at Adath Yeshurun Synagogue of Aiken, said Doris Baumgarten, past president of the congregation’s Sisterhood.
The service includes the blowing of the Shofar, or ram’s horn, its piercing sound intended to alert Jews to the time of reflection.
Following Monday’s morning service, many will head to Hopelands Gardens for Tashlich.
It’s a tradition, Baumgarten said, where families empty their pockets of bread crumbs and throw them into the stream, tossing away the sins from the the past year.
On Tuesday, Sept. 25, Yom Kippur, Judaism’s most sacred holiday, will begin.
The observance is a Day of Atonement and a day of fasting, where one doesn’t eat or drink until the following evening.
The evening service on Tuesday features Kol Nidre, which translates to “all vows.”
“It is where we ask for forgiveness for the vows over the past year,” Baumgarten said.
She said there are two types of vows — seeking forgiveness through prayer between “us and God” and those between individuals and any person “we may have offended throughout the year.”
The following day there is a memorial service where the rabbi will read out a list of all the names of those who passed away that “we wish to remember.” The visiting student rabbi for the High Holidays is Rae Antonaph.
“This memorial prayer in my mind is remembering the good deeds the person has performed or special memories of them you might have,” Baumgarten said.
Once sundown begins Wednesday evening, Sept. 26., when there are three stars in the sky, the congregation will celebrate with a “Break Fast” in which everyone brings in food and shares it with the congregation.