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Rosh Hashanah marks start of Jewish holy days

September 16, 2012
By MARK J. MILLER - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - Jews around the globe begin celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, at sundown today.

The Jewish new year is the beginning of 10 holy days known as Yomin Nora-im, or "Days of Awe," which ends on Sept. 26 with the observance of Yom Kippur, or "Day of Atonement."

According to Jewish religious tradition, during the Yomin Nora-im God opens the Book of Life, which contains all the deeds of mankind. Each act and intention are inscribed in the book for each individual. The final fate of all man also is contained in the book, including who will ultimately live or die, perform or not perform good deeds and will succeed or fail.

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Mark J. Miller
NEW YEAR BEGINS — The Jewish High Holy days begin with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, at sundown today. The 10 days of introspection for Jews concludes with Yom Kippur, or “Days of Atonement,” Sept. 26. Student Rabbi Carlie Weisbrod of Temple Beth Israel sounds the shofur marking the 10 days.

Before the book is sealed on the final day, Jewish liturgy teaches that prayer, atonement and good deeds avert the stern decree.

The service on Yom Kippur includes the reciting of the traditional prayer Kol Nidrei, or "All Vows." The Yizkor, also on Yom Kippur, is a memorial service where families recall loved ones and the memory of their love and teachings passed down through generations.

The Neilah is the final service on Yom Kippur. During the service, Jewish liturgy teaches the gates of heaven are preparing to close, and the last prayers to God for atonement are heard. The liturgy also teaches that those who are earnest in their atonement will be forgiven by God.

The days include Jews participating in prayer, confession and introspection on how they have lived their life during the previous year.

Gathering in synagogues to the call of the traditional ram's horn, or shofar, Jews contemplate their actions, both good and bad, during the previous year. They also try to discover ways to atone for their misdeeds and right any wrongs performed during the year. The shofar is heard each day of the 10-day period until Yom Kippur, when it's sounded for the last time. The shofar is meant to symbolize the voice of God and creation of the universe by him.

Sanford Berman and Arthur Recht, co-presidents of Congregation Temple Beth Israel, 300 Lovers Lane, announced Rosh Hashanah services will be held at 8 p.m. today; 10 a.m. Monday; and will continue 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. Kol Nidrei services will begin at 8 p.m. Sept. 25; and morning services will begin at 10 a.m., the afternoon services at 4 p.m and evening services 6 p.m. all on Sept. 26.

For information, call (740) 264-5514.

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