At sundown on Monday, Jewish people in Vermont — and all over the world — will welcome Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year of 5782. Rosh Hashanah begins a sacred period known as the Days of Awe, culminating 10 days later on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
Laura Berkowitz, president of Congregation Shir Heharim (the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community), invites people to the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, all of which will be held virtually, led by Rabbi Lee Moore on Zoom. Everyone is welcome to attend the services.
The Days of Awe are regarded as a time of judgment, when people seek atonement and pray to have their names inscribed in a symbolic “Book of Life” for another year. On Yom Kippur, hours are spent in prayer and contemplation, and many Jews follow the tradition of fasting for 26 hours.
Rosh Hashanah evening service begins at 7 p.m. on Monday. Morning prayer begins Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Yom Kippur services begin on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. with the “beautiful and haunting” Kol Nidre prayer. Services resume at 9:30 Thursday morning, Sept. 16. To remember and honor departed loved ones, a Yizkor service will occur around 11:30 a.m. during the day’s services, and a late afternoon service at 5 p.m. reads from the Book of Jonah. Neilah, the closing service, begins at 6 p.m. Neilah reflects the spiritual concept of the gates of heaven closing at sunset, giving the congregation a final chance to ask for forgiveness and to pray for life as the holy day comes to a close.
Rabbi Lee Moore will lead the services from the BAJC synagogue, assisted by various members. BAJC hopes that guests will help cover the expenses of making services available to all during these difficult times. Donations can be mailed to BAJC, PO Box 2353, Brattleboro 05303. Donations from guests will be applied toward membership if a donor decides to become a member of the congregation at any time during the year. Visit www.bajcvermont.org or call 802-257-1959 for more information. People attending any or all of the high holy day services will be sent a link to the Zoom Room if you e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions or need more information, contact Faith Schuster at 802-464-2632 or email@example.com.