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A time of renewal, rebirth for Jewish

By LINDA DUNN

The Jewish High Holidays are a time of worship and a 10-day period of introspection.

While celebrating the beginning of our spiritual life as a people, we are asked to examine our lives through the lens of Jewish ethics, laws, and attributes of goodness and compassion.

Living in a time so divided by politics, chaos, lawlessness and anger, those commandments seem especially timely this year. We are in great need of a step back and honest self-examination. The prophet Isaiah wisely observed, “To everything there is a season.”

The Holy Days liturgy speaks of a mystical Book of Life. As we pray, and reflect on our lives, it is our hope to be inscribed in that book through “repentance, prayer and good deeds.” The great Jewish sage, Maimonides, said: “Everyone should regard himself as exactly balanced between acquittal and guilt.” The world is balanced by our good deeds and misdeeds. What we say and do matters.

Also known as The Days of Awe, these holy days are a time for renewal and rebirth.

We celebrate the spiritual birth of humanity and creation, and crown G-d as King. The shofar, a ram’s horn, is blown one hundred times in the course of most traditional services. The blasts are a symbolic coronation but are also unique, penetrating sounds, meant to stir us in our core and draw us closer to the source of life.

The High Holy Days began at sundown Sept. 18, the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and ends at the close of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on Sept. 28.

It will usher in the year 5781 on the Jewish calendar. Due to COVID-19 services will not be held in Temple Beth El this year. It is, however, a mitzvah, that is a commandment, and a blessing, to hear the blowing of the shofar. The shofar will be blown outside the temple before the close of Rosh Hashanah. Keeping with tradition we will dip apples in honey to sweeten the coming of the New Year.

Linda Dunn is president of Temple Beth El for further information call 679-7261.

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