Three days of events set for Rosh Hashanah

Rabbi David Kaiman of Congregation B'nai Israel in Gainesville poses with the Shofar, a well-known symbol of Rosh Hashanah. Pictured with the rabbi are B'nai Israel day-school students Chloe Stewart, 10, Rebekah Ford, 7, and Kaeden Weis-Synott, 7. The sound of the Shofar, a ram's horn, calls out the Jewish New Year.

TRACY WILCOX/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Saturday, October 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 30, 2005 at 10:40 p.m.


Events for Rosh Hashanah


  • Temple Shir Shalom: 8 p.m. evening service, 3855 NW 8th Ave.
  • Lubavitch Jewish Center: 7:30 p.m. evening service followed by holiday dinner, 2021 NW 5th Ave.
  • Hillel: 6 p.m. dinner at Hillel, 2020 W. University Ave.; 7:30 p.m. Sephardic evening service; 8 p.m. conservative evening service at Grand Ballroom, Reitz Union; 8 p.m. reform evening service at the Rion Ballroom, Reitz Union.
  • Temple Shir Shalom: Morning service at 10 a.m.
    Children's service at 2 p.m.
  • Lubavitch Jewish Center: Morning service at 10 a.m.
    Shofar blowing at noon, followed by Mussaf and Kiddush. 5 p.m. Tashlich service at the Baughman Center at Lake Alice. 8:30 p.m. evening service, followed by holiday dinner.
  • Congregation B'Nai Israel: 8:30 morning service, 3830 NW 16th Blvd.; 5:45 p.m. Tashlich; 6:15 p.m. evening service.
  • Hillel: 9:30 conservative morning service, Grand Ballroom, Reitz Union; 9:30 Sephardic morning service at Hillel. 10 a.m. reform morning service, Rion Ballroom, Reitz Union; 1 p.m. lunch at Hillel; 5 p.m. Tashlich outside Reitz Union; 6 p.m. dinner at Hillel; 7:15 p.m. conservative evening service at Hillel. 7:30 p.m. Sephardic evening service at Hillel, followed by dinner.
  • P'Nai Or: 10 a.m. annual New Year's celebration with prayer and meditation, UCG fellowship hall, 1624 NW 5th Ave.
  • Lubavitch Jewish Center: 10 a.m. morning service.
    noon shofar blowing, followed by Mussaf and Kiddush.
  • Hillel: 9:30 a.m. Sephardic service at Hillel. Sephardic services require reservations; call 372-2900 for more information.

  • At sundown Monday, Gainesville's Jewish community will celebrate the beginning of the Jewish New Year 5766 by observing Rosh Hashanah.
    Rosh Hashanah is a two-day holiday on which Jews say prayers proclaiming God their highest king and eat special foods. Meals include round, sweet foods such as tzimmes (cooked carrots), round challah (eggbread), honey cake, and apples and honey.
    Rosh Hashanah is a joyful time, yet it is one of the most solemn holidays in the Jewish calendar.
    "Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the 10 days of penitence (before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement)," explains Rabbi Jonathan Siger of Hillel at the University of Florida.
    "We ask for the ability to repent. We ask for forgiveness," Siger says.
    During Rosh Hashanah, Jews reflect on how they have acted over the past year. They ask for forgiveness from God and other people for bad acts that they have committed.
    "There are wrongs you do by action. There are also wrongs you do by inaction. (An example is) you see somebody who is obviously in need and you choose not to help them," said Siger.
    Rosh Hashanah services include morning prayers during which a shofar (a ram's horn) is blown, afternoon and evening prayers, and Tashlich, a ritual in which Jews throw bits of bread symbolizing their sins into moving water.
    Rabbi David Kaiman of Congregation B'Nai Israel says that he likes Tashlich because everyone can participate, from the youngest to the oldest.
    Rabbi Beryl Goldman of the Lubavitch Jewish Center says that he enjoys the blowing of the shofar.
    "We're crowning God, our king. It's similar to a parade where when you welcome the king, you blow the trumpet," says Goldman.
    Goldman says the hurricanes this year have presented Jews with special challenges. People can look for solutions by praying to God.
    "We need to look at the source of life," says Goldman.
    "Only from the source that provides loving blessings and children and health can we draw blessings to (those that have suffered)," says Goldman.
    Kaiman, of Congregation B'Nai Israel, says Jews should take special time this year to engage in Tikkun Olam, helping the world.
    "This should be a year where we dedicate ourselves to provide relief and help for all those who are in need," says Kaiman.
    On Rosh Hashanah, Jews pray together, but make individual decisions to act ethically.
    Rabbi Shaya Isenberg of Congregation P'Nai Or says that personal choices are central to disaster relief efforts.
    "You could really despair right about now. Rosh Hashanah is right on time," says Isenberg.
    "(One of) the only things that really gives us hope is understanding we don't have to do it the way we did it," says Isenberg.
    Rabbi Michael Joseph of Temple Shir Shalom says Rosh Hashanah's message goes hand-in-hand with physical rebuilding.
    "It (Rosh Hashanah) is not only a matter of remembering the original creation," says Joseph.
    "It's also a matter of appreciating that we are partners with God in an ongoing process of creation. Therefore what we do now is as important as the original work of creation," says Joseph.
    Aaron Falchook, 20 years old and a junior at the University of Florida majoring in nuclear engineering, says Rosh Hashanah is one of his favorite holidays.
    "It's a time to look back and see how you can improve yourself for the next year. This is a time of year we can help people, reach out to people and make the holiday more meaningful," said Falchook.
    Elana Kieran, a 20-year-old UF junior majoring in health science, says that improvement can take place on a family level too.
    "(At home in South Florida) 25 people come to my house. We have brisket and chicken, apples and honey, and honey cake," says Kieran.
    "It's kind of us all getting together and starting over together," she says.

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