Rosh HaShanah ("Head of the Year") is observed on the first day of the month of Tishrei. It marks the beginning of the High Holy Days, which culminates on Yom Kippur. The customs and symbols of Rosh HaShanah reflect the holiday's emphasis on both happiness and humility. On Rosh HaShanah, we sound the shofar, use round challah, and eat apples and honey for a sweet new year.
S'lichot ("forgiveness") is the candlelight service marking the Jewish week preceding Rosh HaShanah. Held after sundown on Saturday, this service begins our cheshbon nefesh (“accounting of the soul”) as part of t’shuvah (“return”) to our truest selves. We start with dessert, Havdalah and a worship service; then close the evening in quiet reflection as the parokhet (ark curtain) and Torah covers are prepared for the coming High Holy Days.
Tashlich ("casting off") is a symbolic dispersal of our errors to the winds and the sea, after we have begun the process of t'shuvah. Our Tashlich service is held along the flowing waters of the Snohomish River, at the Everett Public Boat Launch, on West Marine View Drive at 10th Street.
Rabbi Marshall and Cantor Ellen Dreskin led our 5777 Rosh HaShanah services, including a brief afternoon service targeted toward young children. This year, Rabbi Marshall spoke about self-forgiveness and dual process of rectifying our wrongs and offering ourselves the compassion to move forward. She recommended the following books to help prepare for the High Holy Days:
• This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared, bu Rabbi Allen Lew
• Talking to God, by Rabbi Naomi Levy
• The Book of Forgiving, by Desmond Tutu
• Preparing Your Heart for the High Holy Days, by Rabbi Kerry Olitzky and Rachel T. Sabath
Rosh HaShanah Lunch included delicious dairy and vegan dishes, lovingly prepared by congregants.
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