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Jews Celebrate Rosh Hashanah, High Holy Days

September 10, 2018

Jews across the world are celebrating the beginning of Year 5779, according to the Hebrew calendar.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, began at sunset on Sunday and ends at nightfall on Tuesday.

It marks the beginning of the High Holy Days, which will culminate with Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, on Sept. 18-19.

Each of the Jewish temples in the region will conduct worship services for Rosh Hashanah, according to Rabbi Larry Kaplan, of Temple Israel in Wilkes-Barre. Some will hold services both today and Tuesday morning, he said.

Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar, a hollowed-out ram’s horn.

This is the holiest time of the year for the Jewish community, according to Kaplan.

Some Jews refer to the time from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur as the Days of Repentance, Kaplan said.

During this time, it is considered proper for Jews to engage in self-reflection and to evaluate ways to improve themselves, through a practice known as Teshuvah.

Many adult Jews fast and rest on Yom Kippur.

The dates on which Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are celebrated vary from calendar year to year, as the Hebrew calendar is based on cycles of the moon rather than the sun, Kaplan said.

The rabbi said all are welcome to attend Rosh Hashanah services.

“We’re hoping that everyone in the community has a good, happy, healthy new year,” Kaplan said.

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