Rosh Hashanah Service excerpt


Rosh Hashanah Evening service marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year.  Occuring in the early fall, it is a time for the community to come together and reflect on the year ending and the year ahead.  Here is an excerpt from our Rosh Hashanah adult service. 

Rosh Hashannah Evening

Shofar is a call. Awake from sleep and remember your dreams. This is the end of the year, and its beginning. This is the moment of pause, the refilling of the empty vessel, the renewing of the empty spirit. Let us welcome the light of the New Year as we listen to the call of the shofar.

Responsive Reading

Reader: Summer has passed. The days grow shorter. The sounds and colors of nature speak to us of changes in the world.

Congregation: The stirring of the wind reminds us of changes in our lives, and in our course on earth.

Reader: Jews throughout the world are about to enter upon a new season of the spirit. Our observances remind us of our changing lives and fortunes, of the changes that take place within our families, our homes, and our communities.

Congregation: We are reminded of the changes that have taken place within ourselves.

Reader: Rosh Hashanah is at once a day to take stock of the past and a chance to dream of new beginnings. We recall those moments in the past year when we rejoiced in our victories and achievements, our decent impulses, and our generous actions.

Congregation: We reflect on our moments of weakness: the times we could have done better, tried harder, acted with more compassion.

Reader: We examine the meaning of Rosh Hashanah in our own lives, and in the life of our community. We find comfort in this tradition as it gives us the strength to live our humanist values.

Congregation: We focus on feelings about the coming year, our excitement and our apprehension.

Reader: We are called upon many times to perform acts of compassion, kindness, and justice. Every day we come face-to-face with our innermost nature, and ask of ourselves all that we have to give. Is it any wonder that we sometimes falter? That among all our successes at meeting the challenges of life we nonetheless can look back on episodes that we have come to regret? At Rosh Hashanah we have the opportunity to reflect on the past year, on our actions, and on our failures to act.

Congregation: We reflect in this way not to shame, berate, or condemn, but to acknowledge our humanness and to grapple with our own personal struggle.