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The Jewish High Holy Days

Jewish New Year

Celebrating the Jewish New Year with our families.

For our Jewish clients, the fall season is the time for the High Holy Days. The ten days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur are commonly known as the Days of Awe or the Days of Repentance. This is a time for serious introspection, a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before the close of Yom Kippur.

This year, Rosh Hashanah, a two day holiday, begins Wednesday evening, Sept. 20th. Yom Kippur is one day beginning Friday evening, Sept. 29th.

Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “head of the year” or “first of the year.” and is commonly called the Jewish New Year. There is little similarity between Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the year, and the way the New Year is celebrated on January 1. There is, however, one important similarity: many Americans use the New Year as a time to plan a better life, making “resolutions.” Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year.

Yom Kippur is probably the most important holiday of the Jewish year. The name “Yom Kippur” means “Day of Atonement,” It is a day set aside to “afflict the soul,” to atone for the sins of the past year. It is a day of fasting. This day is, essentially, your last appeal, your last chance to change the judgment, to demonstrate your re-pentance and make amends.

Borrowed from Congregation Beth Israel and Judaism 101 (www.cbict.org)