Rosh Hashanah
Kiryas Joel residents along with their Jewish brethren the world over welcomed in year 5765, last Wednesday evening at sundown when they usher in the holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

 Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a solemn day and a time to reflect and to take stock of the past year and to chart the course for the new-year. Most of both days of Rosh Hashanah are spent in prayer in the confines of the synagogue. In the midst of the prayers the Shofar (ram's horn) is blown in a symbolic wake-up call to attend to the spiritual needs of one's soul. Prayers are recited for the congregation's host nation and its leadership, for the peace and for the prosperity of the world and for the wellbeing of all its inhabitants. The Talmud, in its description of the scene in the heavenly court, writes as follows: "The heavenly tribunal sits in judgement of each individual. The book of life and the book of death are open and each individual's deeds are put on the scale. If the good deeds tip the scale he/she is inscribed in the book of life. However if, heaven forbid, the bad deeds tip the scale.... As such, children from a very young age are taught to respect the holiness of the day. They are taught to perform as many good deeds as possible to tip the scale for themselves their families, their co-religionists and indeed the entire world into the book of life.

However, as holy as Rosh Hashanah is, it is only the beginning of the ten-day self-improvement process. While the days of Rosh Hashanah are days of reflection the next seven days, or a full week, are to be used to repent for all the misdeeds of the entire year. Thus when Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, arrives the heavenly tribunal can justly inscribe us all in the book of life, health and prosperity.

On behalf of the residents of Kiryas Joel we wish all our readers a happy, a healthy, a secure and peaceful new year.


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