What Are the High Holy Days?
If the year is a train, the High Holy Days are its engine. A delicate blend of joy and solemnity, feasting and fasting, prayer and inspiration make up the spiritually charged head of the Jewish year.
The season begins during the month of Elul, when the shofar is sounded every weekday morning — a clarion call to return to G-d in advance of the sacred days that lie ahead.
The two-day holiday of Rosh Hashanah is the time when G-d reinvests Himself in creation, as we crown Him King of the Universe through prayer, shofar blasts and celebration.
A week later, the High Holidays reach their peak with Yom Kippur — the Day of Atonement. Like angels, we neither eat nor drink for 25 hours. Dressed in white, we pray in the synagogue — united as one people, children of One Father.
Rosh Hashanah 2018 — or 5779, according to the Jewish calendar — begins before sundown on Sunday, Sept. 9 and ends after nightfall on Tuesday, September 11. Yom Kippur begins before sundown on Tuesday, Sept. 18, and ends after nightfall on Wednesday, September 19.
But the holidays do not end there. The otherworldliness of the High Holidays is then channeled into the festive holidays of Sukkot and Simchat Torah, which bring the annual fall holiday season to a most joyous conclusion.
In the past few years, many Synagogues have closed their doors. However, the Elmont Jewish Center is determined to keep its doors open to accommodate its neighbors.
Our services are user-friendly, with song and dance, and we invite you to join us for services these High Holidays. Our sanctuary is air-conditioned, and we have plenty of seats available. We welcome children of all ages. Our morning services are followed with a delicious Kiddush luncheon.
Even if you cannot remain for the entire service we welcome you to join us for as much as you can. As an incentive, we will offer free admission to all newcomers.
We also have services every Shabbos morning, beginning at 10 a.m., always followed with a delicious hot Kiddush luncheon. Please join us whenever possible. You are sure to feel welcome here and you will have a great and fun experience.
As the High Holidays are approaching, we would like to extend heartfelt wishes to all our friends and neighbors for a happy and healthy New Year!
Rabbi Chaim Blachman is the spiritual leader of the Elmont Jewish Center