GREENWICH, Conn. -- Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and the first of 10 days of religious celebration, is a time for joy mixed with a contemplation on how to better one’s life, said Rabbi Mitchell Hurvitz of Temple Sholom in Greenwich.
“It’s a joyous holiday, but it is also a time when we are doing serious personal introspection,” he said Tuesday as he prepared for what is also known as the High Holidays. “There is a sense that we are facing our judge.”
The holidays are also known as the “Days of Awe” and end on Yom Kippur, he said. The faithful in Fairfield County and around the world are preparing for the holidays, the most sacred for Jews.
Rosh Hashanah is translated literally as “head of the year.” Wednesday is Erev Rosh Hashanah or eve of the new year, with the holiday beginning at sundown.
Hurvitz dips into the country’s football-obsessed culture to use a term that helps to explain the holidays.
“It’s the religious Superbowl,” he said of the importance of the holidays for Jews.
It is also a community time as people come together and spend time with one another, he said. At Temple Sholom, Hurvitz said. Summer is a time when they gear up for the high holidays that begin in either September or October.
The shofar, a musical instrument traditionally made of a ram’s horn, is blown on Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is the last day of 10 days and is also known as the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year, and one marked by a 25-hour fast, as people repent on the past year.
Shanah Tovah is the traditional greeting on Rosh Hashanah and means, “A Good Year,” in Hebrew.
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