The Jewish High Holidays have begun, and Hillel, CSU’s Jewish
student organization, is celebrating with a series of dinners and
The 10-day holy period began with Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New
Year, at sunset on Friday. It will conclude on Yom Kippur, the Day
of Atonement, which ends at sunset on Oct. 6.
These holidays are the holiest days of the year for Jewish
people, said Hillel President Rachel Raizen.
The 10 days are a time for Jewish people to reflect on the past
year, to evaluate their actions and to ask forgiveness for any
wrongs they have committed, said Hillel Director Hedy Berman.
“Unlike other new year celebrations, (Rosh Hashana) is not
marked by big parties and revelry,” Berman said. “It’s marked by
serious introspection, prayer and forgiveness.”
Berman explained that the words ‘sin’ and ‘repent’ do not exist
in the Hebrew language. Rather, the words are ‘chet,’ meaning to
miss the mark, and ‘t’shuva,’ implying a return to “the path of
righteousness,” Berman said.
“One returns not just by making resolutions, (but through)
changing your actions,” she said.
Yom Kippur is traditionally observed by fasting so that one can
focus on the serious nature of the day.
“I think of it as, you know nobody’s perfect, and that’s okay as
long as you realize it and ask for forgiveness,” said Raizen, a
sophomore psychology major.
For Aaron Matzkin, a sophomore sociology major, the High
Holidays represent new beginnings, and he considers that a
refreshing break during the middle of the semester. “I’ll be doing
just a lot of reflecting and thinking back over the past year, and
thinking about what I want to change for the next year,” he
Hillel’s celebrations began with a traditional Rosh Hashana
dinner Friday evening at the Lory Student Center. The dinner was
followed by services led by Nina Rubin, past president of
Congregation Har Shalom.
Rubin will also lead Yom Kippur services 6 p.m. on Oct. 6, in
the Longs Peak room of the student center. After the services,
Hillel and Rocky Mountain Bagel Works are hosting a Break-the-Fast
“Part of Hillel’s purpose is to be able to provide a sense of
community and even a sense of family (for Jewish students),
especially during the High Holidays,” Berman said. “For some
students, this might be the first time they are celebrating the
holidays away from their home and family.”
Matzkin, from Berkeley, Calif., is one of these students.
“(Hillel) is like my home away from home. It’s my Jewish
community,” he said. “I can’t be going home to California every
time there’s a Jewish holiday.”
High Holiday Services and Celebrations
Kol Nidre Service: Sunday at 6:30 p.m., Congregation Har
Yom Kippur Service: Oct. 6 at 9 a.m., Congregation Har
Yom Kippur Service: Oct. 6 at 6 p.m., Longs Peak room, Lory
Break-the-Fast Dinner: Oct. 6 at 7:17 p.m., Rocky Mountain Bagel
Works, Campus West
Congregation Har Shalom is located at 725 W. Drake Road. A
Hillel carpool will leave from the north entrance to the Lory
Student Center 20 minutes before each service.