As the sun sets on Monday, the Jewish people of Vermont – and around the world – will welcome Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year of 5782. Rosh Hashanah begins a sacred period known as the Days of Awe, culminating 10 days later in Yom Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
Laura Berkowitz, president of Congregation Shir Heharim (the Jewish community of the Brattleboro area) invites people to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, which will all be held virtually, led by Rabbi Lee Moore on Zoom. Everyone is welcome to attend the services.
Days of fear are considered a time of judgment, when people seek atonement and pray that their names will be inscribed in a symbolic “Book of Life” for another year. On Yom Kippur, hours are devoted to prayer and contemplation, and many Jews follow the tradition of the 26-hour fast.
The Rosh Hashanah evening service begins at 7:00 p.m. on Monday. Morning prayer begins Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Yom Kippur services begin Wednesday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m. with the “beautiful and spellbinding” Kol Nidre prayer. Services resume at 9:30 am Thursday morning September 16. To remember and honor loved ones who have passed away, a Yizkor service will be held around 11:30 a.m. during the day’s services, and a late afternoon service at 5 p.m. reads the Book of Jonah. Neilah, the closing service, starts at 6 p.m. Neilah reflects the spiritual concept of closing the gates of heaven at sunset, giving the congregation one last chance to ask for forgiveness and pray for life at the end of the holy day.
Rabbi Lee Moore will lead services from the BAJC Synagogue, assisted by various members. BAJC hopes that guests will help cover the costs of making services available to all during these difficult times. Donations can be mailed to BAJC, PO Box 2353, Brattleboro 05303. Guest donations will be applied to membership if a donor decides to become a member of the congregation at any time during the year. Visit www.bajcvermont.org or call 802-257-1959 for more information. Those attending some or all of the Big Holy Day services will receive a link to the Zoom Room if you send an email to [email protected] If you have any questions or need more information, contact Faith Schuster at 802-464-2632 or [email protected]