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Pound Ridge Jews Ready to Celebrate Rosh Hashanah

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. - Beginning at sundown tonight (Wednesday), Jews around the world will begin to celebrate the Jewish New Year known as Rosh Hashanah. The Pound Ridge Jewish Community, led by Rabbi Nancy Wiener, will be marking the occasion along with them.

“Rosh Hashanah has Biblical origins, “Wiener said. “It’s a time for reflection and a rejoicing and a time to envision what is possible.”

The Pound Ridge Jewish Community was formed in 1990 to create a Jewish presence in the town. They meet at different member’s houses and hold services at the Steven Memorial Church in Vista.

“Judaism doesn’t require a building,” Wiener said. “We meet in people’s homes throughout the year. We have adult education once a month where we pitch different topics to discuss. We go on trips as well. We also have a school for third grade through bar mitzvah.”

Pound Ridge Jewish Community celebrates Rosh Hashanah with three services Wednesday night through Thursday morning this year.  Wiener said the highlight of the services is the sounding of the shofar – the ram’s horn.

“It’s blown during the service to announce specific readings in the Torah and Books of Prophets that are prescribed for the holiday,” Wiener said.

It’s also a Rosh Hashanah tradition to eat foods that are sweet and round. They symbolize the circle of life and the sweetness that can be found in the new year. Apples dipped in honey are popular, as well as braided challah bread with raisins baked into a round loaf.

While the holiday is a time of rejoicing, Wiener said it should also be a time for solemn introspection to reflect on the person we would like to become in the coming year.

“There are special prayers of confession,” she said. “No one is consistently perfect and we look to see what caused us to miss the mark. The idea is that God is ready to forgive us when we engage in the process. And we ask the people who we have wronged for forgiveness.”

Wiener said the public at large is invited to the Pound Ridge Community’s service at the Steven’s Memorial Church. Service times are Wednesday at 8 p.m., Thursday at 9:30 a.m. for a family service, and then another regular service at 10:30 a.m.

“We accommodate anyone who would like to come on the high holy days,” the rabbi said. “There’s lots of singing and I play the guitar.”

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Will you be doing anything special for Rosh Hashanah this year? Join the discussion. Leave your comment below.

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