FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sunday evening the shofar will sound and families across Fairfield will ring in a new year as the Jewish feast of Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown.
Rosh Hashanah marks the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei. Considered the Hebrew New Year, Jewish congregations celebrate with the blowing of a ram’s horn, or shofar, and prayer services. Families will celebrate with the eating of specific foods, most notably apples dipped in honey to symbolize a “sweet new year.”
Rosh Hashanah has also been called the “day of judgement,” a time for reflection before Yom Kippur, the “day of atonement.” Rabbi James Prosnit of Congregation B’Nai Israel wrote on his blog the two High Holidays are a time for Jewish people to focus on themselves, as opposed to more communal celebrations like Passover.
“Rosh Hashanah also provides us a chance to take a very personal inventory,” Prosnit writes. “It's a chance to reflect on our assets and debits during the past year and to struggle with the negative aspects of our personality. We all have visions of ourselves at our best, but since we're human we don't live up to those lofty images as often as we'd like.”
Rabbi Mitchell Rocklin at Congregation Ahavath Achim has said the holiday offers the opportunity to put oneself on a better path for the new year. Rocklin said his services focus on two points: having the desire to change and having the desire to help others change. "The holiday presents its own theme, so to speak," he says.
Congregation Beth El, Fairfield’s Conservative synagogue at 1200 Post Road Fairfield, will have services Sunday night at 6 p.m. and Monday morning at 10 a.m.
For Reform Jewish families, Congregation B’Nai Israel just over the Bridgeport border (2710 Park Ave.) has services planned for 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Sunday, and 10 a.m. Monday morning. There will also be a special service for kids at 3 p.m. Monday.
Fairfield’s Orthodox synagogue, Congregation Ahavath Achim at 1571 Stratfield Road, has scheduled services “for beginners” in both Hebrew and English. Rosh Hashanah services are scheduled for Sunday at 6:45 p.m. and Monday at 10 a.m. Reservations are requested by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the office at 203-372-6529.