For many, the New Year is celebrated at the beginning of January, often with snow on the ground, the ball drop from Times Square, resolutions, a New Year’s kiss, and, in a lot of cases, drinking a little too much champagne.
For the Jewish population on campus, however, the New Year, Rosh Hashanah, is already upon them, and is celebrated by attending temple and eating the traditional of apples and honey. Resolutions are also a part of this holiday, and are considered a way to correct mistakes made in the previous year.
Rosh Hashanah originates from the Bible, and is traditionally commemorated with blasts from the shofar, or ram’s horn. Jews worldwide attend prayer services at their temples, where they listen to the shofar and repent their sins through prayer.
On campus, there are various events and services for Jewish students to attend. Hillel, the campus Jewish outreach organization, already kicked off the holiday with a dinner and a service, Wednesday. There is also a 10 a.m. service in the LSC Thursday.
“Hillel is meant to empower and enrich Jewish students,” Hillel Director Josh Samet said. “It encompasses the many ranges of Judaism.”
Hillel derives its name from Hillel the Elder, a Jewish religious leader in the fifth century.
The most ceremonial event Hillel is sponsoring takes place Friday at the lagoon. Those who wish to attend will gather to toss breadcrumbs into the water, a very symbolic tradition.
“This is meant to take place over a body of running water to symbolize the washing away of the past years’ mistakes,” Samet said.
Off-campus, there will be plenty of opportunities for students to celebrate the holiday as well. The different Jewish denominations in Fort Collins will be holding services at their respective temples, and families celebrate in their own way as well.
“We are going to my aunt’s house for dinner, and we attend services at our temple,” said Donny Cohen, freshman chemical engineering major, of his family’s plans.
The Jewish community as a whole will be practicing many traditions, not the least of which ties to the food eaten on this holiday.
“We eat apples and honey in hopes for a sweet year,” Samet said.
Other culinary traditions include gefilte fish and pomegranate. All the food eaten on Rosh Hashanah is symbolic of something. Apples and other round foods are eaten to represent the year coming full circle.
“Rosh Hashanah is a holiday about personal connections with God.” Samet said,” We think about the blessings from the past year, think about how to be a better person, and ask for forgiveness for wrongdoings.”
Staff writer Molly Armbrister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.