Welcoming Our Clergy, Congregants, and the High Holidays

Melanie Einbund

On Sept. 21 members are invited to attend the Institute for Judaic Services and Studies (IJSS) Welcome Back Happy Hour gathering. This is a time for congregants to welcome back Rabbi Sanford Seltzer. In the spirit of old and new acquaintances IJSS hopes that this occasion will be one of warmth and friendship.

IJSS hopes that our members and friends are looking forward to celebrating the Jewish High Holy Days as a congregation. Rosh Hashanah will be observed on Sept. 25 and 26. Yom Kippur on Oct. 4 and 5.

With warmth and appreciation, we welcome back to our pulpit Rabbi Seltzer. The Rabbi has been preparing services that will be traditional and informative. Completing our clergy is Eliyanah Powers, cantorial soloist, and Harrison Sheckler, accompanist. They are new to our congregation, and we anticipate the beauty of their voice and music.

Some Rosh Hashanah background: Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is one of the holiest days in Judaism. Meaning “head of the year” or “first of the year,” Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the 10 Days of Awe. This holiday is one of joy and introspection. A shofar—a trumpet made from a ram’s horn—is an essential and symbolic part of the call to repentance for both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Rosh Hashanah customs and symbols include:

Apples and honey: One of the most popular Rosh Hashanah customs is to eat apple slices dipped in honey. Ancient Jews believed apples had healing properties, and honey signifies the hope that the new year will be sweet.

Round challah: On Rosh Hashanah, the challah is often baked in a round shape to symbolize the cyclical nature of life. Raisins are added to the dough for a sweet new year.

Honey cake is referenced in ancient texts, that Israel is the land of milk and honey, and symbolizes a sweet new year.

Jews greet each other on Rosh Hashanah with the Hebrew phrase “L’shana tovah,” which translates to “for a good year.” This is a shortened version of the Rosh Hashanah salutation “L’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem” (“May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year”).

So, Why a Lake?

After Rosh Hashanah morning services, those who wish will go to a moving body of water with their breadcrumbs to observe Tashlich.

Tashlich is the symbolic casting off sins represented by throwing pieces of bread into a flowing body of water, while reciting prayers and asking for forgiveness. As the bread, symbolizing the sins of the past year, is swept away, those who embrace this tradition are spiritually cleansed and renewed.

Our thanks to Mike Roddy, HOA One Director of Golf and Grounds, who has given us permission to use an HOA One Golf Course Lake. Thanks, Mike!

If you would like to join us, contact me at [email protected].

IJSS is a small and welcoming congregation. We value our members and their needs. If you have questions or wish to join our congregation, please feel free to contact Joan Elder at 520-360-1478 or Seth Eisner at 520-818-6340 for information.

IJSS wishes the community A Good Year—L’shana tovah