Har Mishpacha observes the High Holy Days beginning with Rosh Hashanah on Friday
Sundown Friday will mark the beginning of Rosh Hashanah and the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, which culminate with Yom Kippur on Sept. 24-25.
The holiest time of the year in Judaism will see a flurry of activity in Steamboat’s Jewish community, Har Mishpacha, in the coming 10 days, according to Rabbi Kolby Morris-Dahary.
The 10-day period of spiritual self-reflection begins with Rosh Hashanah, which translates into “head of the year” and stems from God’s creation of the world.
According to Morris-Dahary, Rosh Hashanah is somewhat celebratory in nature. One of the highlights of a Rosh Hashanah service is the blowing of the shofar, a ram’s horn. The blowing of the shofar has multiple meanings, according to the rabbi, including a call to “listen to the message of a new year.” The shofar is used as a call to return to God and confront past errors.
Since the shofar is a ram’s horn, it also serves as a reminder that Abraham sacrificed a ram rather than his son Isaac before God. This teaching is referred to as the Akedah, or binding of Isaac.
“The Akedah is the ultimate story of self-reflection,” Morris-Dahary said. “As Abraham wrestled with himself, it set the example that internal reflection must be used to determine right and wrong and to listen to divine guidance.”
Rosh Hashanah lasts for two days and begins the 10 days of atonement.
“This is a time of deep spiritual reflection on our relationship with God,” Morris-Dahary said. “It is not a time of self-flagellation but, rather, an internal process in trying to understand how we can be a better version of ourself and how to do better to others.”
The High Holy Days end with Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement, which runs from sundown Sept. 24 to sunset Sept. 25. Yom Kippur is a personal reflection on God’s ability to grant forgiveness and cleanse individuals of their sins.
The scriptural basis for Yom Kippur is the story of Moses seeking God’s forgiveness on Mount Sinai for the people of Israel for sinning through idolatry by the creation of a golden calf. Many congregants traditionally fast from sundown the eve of Yom Kippur to the following evening.
Various services will be conducted throughout the High Holy Days for the Har Mishpacha community. Child care is available for the main services, which also will be live-streamed. To maximize security, Har Mishpacha asks all who wish to attend a service in person to register at Harmishpacha.org/highholidays-1.
Erev Rosh Hashanah Dinner and Service, Friday, Sept. 15, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Rosh Hashanah Family Service, Saturday, Sept. 16, 9-9:45 a.m.
Rosh Hashanah Service, Saturday, Sept.16, 10 a.m – 12:30 p.m.
Tashlich on the Yampa, Saturday, Sept. 16, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Yom Kippur Family Service, Sunday, Sept. 24, 5-6 p.m
Kol Nidre/Erev Yom Kippur Service, Sunday, Sept. 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Yom Kippur Service, Monday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m–1 p.m.
Neillah/Havdallah Service, Monday, Sept. 25, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Community Break the Fast, Monday, Sept. 25, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
John Chalstrom is the assistant editor for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-879-1502 or email him at jchalstrom@SteamboatPilot.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.