In case you are wondering what this Rosh Hashanah holiday is, and why you have two days off, check out this email from the Interfaith Chaplaincy
To: The Brandeis Community
This Wednesday night, September 28, Jews around the world will begin a very special period called “the Days of Awe.” This ten day span begins with Rosh HaShanah, the two-day start of the Jewish New Year, and ends with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (this year on Saturday, October 8).
Rosh HaShanah is a joyous holiday, marking both the New Year and the Birthday of the World, but it is also a time for reflection. Synagogues around the world will ring with the blast of the Shofar, the ram’s horn, calling communities together for celebration and contemplation.
During the 10 days from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, Jews are enjoined to reflect upon the past year, seeking forgiveness from those they may have knowingly or unknowingly harmed or otherwise offended. The theme of all ten days is that repentance, prayer and charitable deeds are the keys to closing out the old year and starting the New Year off right.
On Yom Kippur, Jews come together for a final confession of their sins in order to begin the New Year with a proverbial clean slate. Tradition has it that one cannot come before God for these confessions before having first approached our family, friends, and neighbors with requests for forgiveness. Prayer and fasting are the hallmarks of this day and many refrain from other luxuries, like the wearing of leather shoes. The day is designed to focus attention only on those things which truly matter. Yom Kippur concludes with a final blast of the Shofar, a final cry as the gates of heaven are considered to close.
For a schedule of the many opportunities for prayer on campus in this High Holy Day season, please see Hillel’s website http://www.brandeishillel.org/high-holidays/. All members of the Brandeis family are welcome. Tickets are available for non-students at x63570. We wish you a Shanah Tovah U’metukah (a good and sweet year). May it be a year of joy and celebration, of growth and fulfillment, of health and wholeness, and may it be a year of peace.
The Interfaith Chaplaincy
Rev. Walter Cuenin, Catholic Chaplain, x63574
Dr. Imam Talal Eid, Muslim Chaplain, x65010
Alexander Levering Kern, Protestant Chaplain, 617-455-5323
Rabbi Elyse Winick, Jewish Chaplain, x63672