Sundown on Friday will mark the beginning of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar, during which Jews not only celebrate the New Year, but also reflect on the state of their souls.
The High Holy Days begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. For the Jewish people, this is a time for reflection and self-evaluation of the previous year.
“I reflect a lot on my personal relationships and on living my life according to the morals I want to be living,” said Noe Marymor, a junior majoring in wildlife biology. “Whether I am purposely sitting down or just walking to class, I try to keep it in my mind that this it the time to be reflecting on the last year.”
The High Holiday ends on Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement. Through an extensive process of reflection, prayer, fasting, repentance and forgiveness, the baggage and guilt of the previous year is thrown off, creating clean slates and new starts.
Some of the traditions practiced during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur include eating apples dipped in honey to symbolize the hope for a sweet and promising new year and sending New Year’s cards to close friends and family.
The Shofar, a ram’s horn, is blown on Rosh Hashanah in the synagogue, “recalling the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai,” said Hedy Berman, director of Hillel at CSU.
For many, the High Holy Days are an opportunity to regain insight and direction.
“What Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are really about is the deepest of the deep-your relationship with yourself, your relationship with your fellow human beings, and your relationship with the cosmos,” said Rabbi Larry Denmark, a licensed psychologist in spiritual guidance and an instructor in social work at CSU. “In these ten Days of Awe, we try to get all these things aligned and clear. When that happens, you experience ‘at-one-ment,’ (realizing) in every cell of your body that there’s no gap between self and others and (between) self and God.”
Everyone is invited to join in celebration this Friday with Rosh Hashanah Dinner and Services in the Lory Student Center Cherokee Park Room. Payment is $15 for students and $20 for non-students, and is due by Wednesday at either the Hillel Office, located in room N16 of the LSC basement or by visiting the Hillel Table in the Flea Market today.