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Rosh Hashanah Traditions during COVID-19

With COVID-19 restrictions, celebrations and ceremonies have taken on new looks. The Santa Clara County Health Department’s Mandatory Directive for Gathering places health-related restrictions on how religious services can be held. While other temples and synagogues went online with events, Chabad of Santa Clara had a different approach. They held outdoor services with socially distancing with masks required and a Shofar blowing held in Central Park. Due to the popularity of hearing the Shofar, RSVPs were required and with several time slots available.


The Jewish Holiday of Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah began on Friday, Sept. 18, and concluded on Sunday, Sept. 20. It is the birthday for all of humanity, the day Adam and Eve were created. The focus is on “how is this next year going to be, how am I going to bring more light and energy to the coming year?” Which is why it’s called the “Head of the Year.”


On Sunday, near the pond in Central Park, Rabbi Yigal Rosenberg spoke to the people gathered saying they are “physically distant but spiritually close” to hear the Shofar, essentially a trumpet made either from synthetic materials or traditionally from a ram’s horn.

Rosh Hashanah is one of the two most important holidays in Judaism. Yom Kippur, the highest holiday on the Jewish calendar, is also called the Day of Atonement, begins on Sept. 27.  Together, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are considered the High Holy Days.  One’s fate is sealed and decided by g-d (in Judaism, the name of the creator is holy and is never written out) on Yom Kippur.

For more information on Chabad in Santa Clara, please visit their website:


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