The High Holy Days or Yamim Noraim (”Days of Awe”) begin with Rosh Hashanah, which literally means “head of the year.” It is a time to thank God for the gift of life and to contemplate one’s actions.
Rosh Hashana has a festive feel to it. People eat apples and honey to symbolize the sweet New Year. Yom Kippur falls 10 days after Rosh Hashana has a more somber feel to it.
Yom Kippur is considered the day of atonement where Jews spend the day fasting and asking for forgiveness for the wrongs committed against self and others. There is also a special Yiskor or memorial service to remember those who have passed.
Each year, Congregation B’nai Ha Aretz invites a rabbi to lead High Holiday Services here in Southern Humboldt. The services will include song, chant, movement, quiet reflection, joyous celebration and loving conversation.
For the young in body or spirit, both evening of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will start with a lively, short children’s service. All of the B’nai Ha-Aretz services will include words of Torah and some words from Rabbi Carol Caine who will be visiting from the Bay Area.
The Yom Kippur program will include a special service devoted to healing and an “Open Torah” service, in which each participant is invited to sit with the Torah and share the truth that arises.
All services are offered free of charge and will be held at the Civic Club in Garberville on September 16-17 and Sept. 25-26. For a complete listing of events, including detailed descriptions, please see the Community Calendar or visit www.bnaihaaretz.org or call (707) 223-4849.
Miriam Billinger is a representative and member of Congregation B’nai Ha-Aretz.