The High Holy Day season officially begins in the month of Elul – the last month of the Jewish calendar year – as we engage in the work of teshuvah, returning to our best selves.
As the new Jewish year approaches, B’nai Sholom holds an annual S’lichot service, typically the Saturday night before Rosh Hashanah. We begin the service with Havdallah as we transition from Shabbat to weekday, and then formally transition to High Holy Day mode. During this contemplative service, we focus on themes of repentance and forgiveness, help the Torah scrolls don their white mantles for the holiday season and hear the sound of the shofar (ram’s horn).
On Rosh Hashanah, we welcome the new Jewish year with evening and morning services, again including the call of the shofar. In the afternoon, we join other members of the Albany Jewish community for a joint Tashlich ceremony at Buckingham Pond, where we symbolically cast off our missteps from the past year.
Our Yom Kippur observance begins with an evening Kol Nidrei service, and continues with several services the following day: morning (shacharit), afternoon (mincha), healing, Yizkor (memorial), and N’ilah (concluding), as well as an engaging study session.
When public health situations allow, we also have an oneg with apples and honey at the end of our Rosh Hashanah evening services for a sweet new year, as well as a communal break-fast meal at the conclusion of Yom Kippur.
As the High Holy Days approach, look here for links to register as a guest (in person or via Zoom) and to sign up for our holiday children’s programs.