Jewish new year a time for reflection, atonement

first_imgWHITTIER – Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, begins at sundown Friday, but instead of noise makers and confetti, the holiday is marked by quiet reflection, a local rabbi said. “It’s a time of reflection and seeking forgiveness from those we have wronged throughout the year,” said Rabbi Haim Beliak of Temple Beth Shalom in Whittier. Beliak said his message throughout the 10-day period of Rosh Hashana, or “Days of Awe,” to his temple’s 150-family membership will focus on humility. “Humility is required to ask for forgiveness,” Beliak explained. “It’s very difficult to reconcile with people.” Both men said they expect attendance to be high during Rosh Hashana, with members coming not only from their respective cities, but from surrounding communities in the San Gabriel Valley, including Diamond Bar, Monterey Park and Alhambra. “People feel comfortable coming back to the temple they grew up attending or that their parents or grandparents attended,” Beliak said. A special moment will come Sunday with the blowing of the Shofar, a ram’s horn, symbolizing improvement. Other customs of Rosh Hashana include eating apples dipped in honey for a sweet new year and eating pomegranates for fertility, Beliak said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsYom Kippur, which comes at the end of Rosh Hashana, is for the atonement of sins between man and God. Although Rosh Hashana is about seeking reconciliation and, where possible, righting the wrongs committed against others, it’s not about being perfect, Beliak stressed. “Sometimes there is healing, but it can only happen if the two parties are open with one another and willing to move on,” he said. For Rabbi Sheldon Pennes of Temple B’Nai Emet in Montebello, his message to the temple’s 125 families will be one of reflecting on the year that has passed. “I want them to look at their strengths and weaknesses and acknowledge their sins and resolve not to do them again,” he said. last_img read more