University students should keep an ear out this Sunday night for the sound of the shofar and mark the celebration of the 5,764th Rosh Hashanah. Beginning at sundown tonight and ending at sundown on Sunday, campus organizations like the Chabad House and Michigan Hillel will hold a series of religious services to mark the High Holidays.
As a religious holiday, “Rosh Hashanah is unique because it is a more serious time, a reflection time and not a party day,” said Rabbi Alter Goldstein of the Chabad House. “It is a time to see how we can improve ourselves for the New Year. … During Rosh Hashanah, God is more accessible and the requests we have are more accepted.”
Yom Kippur ends the High Holidays at sundown on Monday, Oct. 6th. “Rosh Hashanah is more a time for reflection and judgment and Yom Kippur is the sealing date, where everything that people have resolved, God seals for the year to come,” Goldstein said.
One of the most important components during Rosh Hashanah is the shofar blowing. Shofar blowing comes from a traditional story where a town was forced to come together as one. Today, blowing the shofar signifies a religious calling and is a symbolic event to mark the New Year. Shofar blowing will be at the Chabad House at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday at Palmer Field.
Another event University students can participate in during Rosh Hashanah is the Tashlich. “The walk symbolizes throwing away everything that is negative, throwing it into the water and letting the moving water carry it away,” Goldstein said.
Tashlich traditionally uses breadcrumbs to symbolize casting off the problems of the past year. In Ann Arbor, Tashlich is a traditional walk to the Huron River.
For many University students, Rosh Hashanah is an opportunity to reaffirm faith and see their families. LSA sophomore Jay Rapaport will spend the weekend attending services with his family. “I’m really focused on this past year and my mistakes and problems and how this year I can improve on that record,” Rapaport said.
Said LSA junior Daniel Loewenstein, “Rosh Hashanah is a really good time to go to synagogue and see your family.”
“The world situation is not the most stable right now, let’s hope and pray that this will be the year of stability” Goldstein said.
For University students staying on campus for the holiday, the Chabad House and Michigan Hillel will hold services for all members of the Jewish community at their locations.
The Chabad House is located at 715 Hill St and Michigan Hillel at 1429 Hill St.