BRATTLEBORO -- At sundown on Sunday, Sept. 16, Jewish people will welcome Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year 5773 Rosh Hashanah, considered by Jews to be the birthday of the world, marks the beginning of a sacred period known as the Days of Awe, a time of reflection and introspection that culminates 10 days later on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
During these days, marked by contemplation, confession, and prayer, Jews around the world assemble in synagogues to pray and to reflect upon the past year. Individuals ask for forgiveness from family and friends and seek reconciliation for any wrongful acts they may have committed. Tradition teaches that once this is accomplished, forgiveness from God will follow. The Days of Awe are regarded as a time of judgment, when Jews seek atonement and ask to be inscribed in the Book of Life for another year.
The Yom Kippur service begins on Tuesday evening, Sept. 25, with the beautiful and haunting Kol Nidre prayer. The next 24 hours are spent in prayer, contemplation, repentance, and fasting. One part of the day’s prayers is Yizkor, a special service during which people remember their departed loved ones as well as those lost in the Holocaust and other tragedies.
Ne’ilah, the evening closing service, speaks of the Gates of Heaven slowly closing as the last prayers of atonement are offered to God. Like people throughout the ages, Jews are comforted by the belief that if
Julie Strothman, President of Congregation Shir Heharim (the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community) announces that Rosh Hashanah services will begin at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16, and will continue the next day at 9:30 a.m. Yom Kippur services begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25, and continue the next day at 9:30 a.m. Yizkor (memorial service) will take place at about 11 a.m.
Shortly after noon, there will be an Musaf/Avodah service. After a mid-afternoon break, services will resume at 5 p.m. with Minchah and a reading of the story of Jonah. Ne’ilah, the solemn closing service, begins at 6 p.m. Kate Judd and Bob Rottenberg will conduct the services, which will be held at the All Souls Church (West Village Meeting House) on South Street in West Brattleboro.
Services on the second day of Rosh Hashanah will be held at the synagogue at 151 Greenleaf St. Members and their guests, as well as non-member visitors and area residents are welcome to attend, as are students in residence at area schools. Donations from guests are encouraged and can be mailed to BAJC, P.O. Box 2353, Brattleboro, VT 05303.
For further information, visit the congregation’s website, www.bajcvermont.org, or call and leave a message at 802-257-1959.