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Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in Santa Clara

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish holiday, commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of a 10-day period leading to Yom Kippur, the highest holiday on the Jewish calendar. Because they’re the two most important holidays in Judaism, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are considered the High Holy Days.

The first day of the new year is celebrated on Tishrei 1 and 2, which is the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. This year, Rosh Hashanah began at sundown on Sept. 29 and concluded at nightfall on Oct. 1. Jewish calendar dates begin at sundown on the night before the date.

Although there are differing traditions among different sects of Judaism, Rosh Hashanah is a time of prayer, a time to review ones actions during the past year and look for ways to improve our actions, communities and the world in the upcoming new year.

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Yom Kippur, which was on Oct. 8, is also known as the Day of Atonement or the Day of at-one-ment and is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. It is on Yom Kippur that one’s fate is sealed and decided by g-d (sic) — in Judaism, the name of the creator is holy and is never written out. Depending on one’s sect, the holiday is marked either by a 25-hour fast, which ends with a “break-fast” or by observing parts of the holiday tradition. One constant though is the sounding of the Shofar — a trumpet made either from synthetic materials or traditionally from the horn of a ram.

When Chabad came to Santa Clara, it gave Jewish people in the City and surrounding communities the ability to observe the holiday in a smaller setting than offered in larger temples. Although Chabad is more traditional, it is also known for reaching out to the Jewish community and accepting those from different sects.

For more information on Chabad in Santa Clara, visit their website:  www.jewishclara.com.

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