Celebrating Rosh Hashanah

Rosh_ARosh Hashanah, which means head of the year, starts at sundown on Sunday, Oct. 2, and ends at sundown on Tuesday, Oct. 4. The spiritual holiday marks the beginning of the 10 days until Yom Kippur in which Jews reflect upon their actions from the past year and ask for forgiveness for their transgressions in hopes of influencing God’s final judgment.

“The Jewish High Holiday prayers and rituals are beautiful, but the real objectives of this sacred season are self-reflection and reconciliation,” said Rabbi Rafi Rank from Midway Jewish Center. “We reflect on new paths we might take to improve our lives and the lives of those around us, and reconcile with loved ones in the interest of family and peace.”

Rosh Hashanah traditions include Teshuvah, a process that demonstrates repentance, and mitzvah of the shofar, which is the blowing of a ram’s horn to mark the beginning of the holiday. Apples are dipped into honey for a sweet new year, a festive meal is prepared and friends are wished L’Shanah Tovah, which means Happy New Year. Many observers participate in a Tashlich service that involves symbolically casting off the previous year’s sins by tossing pieces of bread into a body of flowing water as one thinks about the previous year’s transgressions.

Many of the synagogues in Nassau County celebrate with a morning and evening service, as well as a Tashlich ceremony. The Midway Jewish Center on 330 S Oyster Bay Rd. in Syosset will have a Tashlich ceremony on Monday, Oct. 3, at 5 p.m. at the Tinker’s Pond in Woodbury behind 43 and 45 Crossways Dr. Park West.

For those who do not drive on the holiday, members will gather at the synagogue for a communal walk at 4:15 p.m. The Congregation Tifereth Israel located in Glen Cove will hold its service at Morgan Memorial Park in Glen Cove on Oct. 3 at 4 p.m.

Temple Sinai of Roslyn will hold a Tashlich service at Bar Beach at 5 p.m.

Temple Beth-El of Great Neck’s Tashlich service will be held at 4 p.m. at Steppingstone Park.

The Jericho Jewish Center’s Tashlich service will be held on Oct. 9 at 11:30 a.m. at Teddy Roosevelt Memorial Park West End Ave., Oyster Bay.

“The opportunity to begin each and every year with a fresh start is invaluable,” said Rabbi Ben Herman from the Jericho Jewish Center. “To be able to cast out one’s wrongdoings, as simply as removing the crumbs of bread from our pockets, is what Tashlich is all about: a chance to improve ourselves through changing our harmful behaviors and bad habits.”

Christina Claus
Christina Claus is the former editor of Port Washington News.

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