MORGANTOWN — Rosh Hashanah is upon the land.
The two-day holiday that will usher in the Jewish new year of 5779 began at sundown Sunday and will run through the same Tuesday.
The 10 High Holy Days leading to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, will immediately follow.
It’s just not a “Jewish thing,” Rabbi Zalman Gurevitz said, hours before the sun ducked behind the north-central West Virginia ridgetops.
It’s an every-thing, he said.
Gurevitz helps lead Chabad of Morgantown, on Willey Street.
There he sees students and others from university and Morgantown communities.
All are welcome, he said, especially during the adjoined High Holidays of Rosh Hash-anah and Yom Kippur.
“This is a time of renewal for the whole world,” he said.
“God put us here to make the world better place. That meant he gave us the tools and resources.”
The power of personal reflection and introspection especially, he said.
Across town, at the Tree of Life Congregation, on South High Street, Rabbi Joe Hample agreed.
“In those 10 days [leading to Yom Kippur],” he said, previously, “we search our souls.”
While Yom Kippur is a day of fasting and other denials, it also has the undeniable lightness of being, at the moment when one’s sins are forgiven.
Both temples were readying for Rosh Hashanah on Sunday.
Services at Chabad of Morgantown will be at 10 a.m. today, Gurevitz said.
The sounding of the shofar — a ram’s horn blown into like a trumpet — will be at 11:30 a.m., he said.
The shofar carries a lot of weight during Rosh Hashanah. It represents the unspoken expression of love for God and the story of Isaac, who was meant to be sacrificed, but wasn’t — a lamb took his place.
Lunch follows at 12:45 p.m.
Tuesday’s schedule at Cha-bad of Morgantown will be the same, Gurevitz said.
A children’s service at Tree of Life will be from 9:15-10 a.m. today, immediately followed by a temple-wide service which runs through noon, Hample said.
Tree of Life’s traditional Tashlich ceremony, whereby bread crumbs are thrown into the Monongahela River to symbolize the discarding of one’s sins, will be at
12:30 p.m. at the Decker’s Creek Bridge.
Tuesday’s service at Tree of Life will be 10 a.m.-noon, Hample said.
Apples and honey are among the traditional foods enjoyed during Rosh Hashanah, in anticipation of a “sweet” year.
Round loaves of bread are also baked and served to represent the circular nature of life.
Meanwhile, Yom Kippur commences at sundown Sept. 18.
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