Holiday a time for reflection for Jewish students

Sydney Baltrusaitis

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown Wednesday. The two-day celebration is marked by the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn) to welcome the Hebrew year of 5774 and incorporates the common greeting “shana tovah u’metukah,” meaning a good and sweet new year, with treats like honey apples and challah bread.

The Cohn Jewish Student Center at Kent State will hold services and meals to celebrate the holiday. The festivities kick off at 6:30 p.m. with candle lighting and services followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Services begin at 10 a.m. and lunch follows at 12:30 p.m. along with a Tashlich or ritual hike to the Cuyahoga River at 2 p.m. Thursday. If attending you must RSVP. For students, services are free and meals are $15.

Ricky Marcus, Director of Jewish Student Life, said Rosh Hashanah and a new semester come around the same time and symbolize new beginnings. “We have the opportunity to work on the relationships that we have had in the past and try to see what we can do to make it better,” Marcus said.

The 10 Days of Awe start with Rosh Hashanah and end with Yom Kippur. The days in-between the two most holy holidays are a time to consider the sins from the previous year and to look back on the past.

“It is seen as one of the most important holidays in the Jewish tradition,” Marcus said. “It signifies the beginning of a new year for the Jewish calendar so it means a lot to people because there is a lot of implication for renewal and rejuvenation.”

In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year.”

Kevin Kendall, junior marketing major and member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, said the holiday provides a lesson from past transgressions.

“Rosh Hashanah is a new beginning and a chance to forget all the mistakes and misfortunes that have come about from the past year,” Kendall said.

Contact Sydney Baltrusaitis at [email protected].