High Holidays 5784 schedule to begin with Erev Rosh Hashanah services Friday, September 15

Student Rabbi Rocki Schy will officiate High Holidays services in the sanctuary at United Hebrew Congregation and via Zoom for the New Year 5784, beginning with Erev Rosh Hashanah services at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15.

Yana Weinstein will return as soloist for Erev Rosh Hashanah and Kol Nidre. This will be her sixth High Holy Days with UHC during the past seven years.

Izaak Skillman will handle shofar duties.

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Shofar’s cry inspires an accounting during Elul

By Student Rabbi Rocki Schy

Elul is an intense month! We’re gearing up for the High Holy Days, and in order to prepare ourselves, we have certain rituals that we carry out during this time.

We perform teshuvah, the process of making amends to our fellow humans whom we have wronged during the course of the year.

We undertake a cheshbon hanefesh, an accounting of our souls, where we assess how we measured up during the year.

We look inward to determine where we excelled and where we fell short. We read Psalm 27, in which the psalmist asks to dwell with G-d. And, of course, we hear the shofar.

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We’ve again counted the omer, recognizing the glory of freedom and the beauty of the Torah

By Student Rabbi Rocki Schy

With Pesach and Shavuot now concluded, we’ve completed the period of the Jewish calendar during which we count the omer.

This ancient timekeeping mechanism finds new life each year as we number the days in between these two holidays. In ancient times, we used an actual omer — a piece of barley — to track the days between these chaggim, while worshipers traveled to the Temple.

Today, the counting of the omer is a more symbolic practice. We keep a mental tally, rather than a pile of barley.

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A tiny aleph in Leviticus notes great significance about an important meeting

By Student Rabbi Rocki Schy

During recent Shabbatot, we’ve been reading from the Book of Leviticus.

Leviticus is the third book of the Torah, and is told primarily through Hashem’s speech to Moses about how Moses should instruct the Israelites.

This is a break in form from the more narratively skewed books of Genesis and Exodus.

Leviticus is instead concerned with legal, ritual and moral practices. Through Hashem’s words to Moses, the Israelites are told how to interact with one another, how to make sacrifices, how to handle legal disputes and how to act in a holy manner, among many other instructions.

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