South GA celebrates Jewish New Year - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South GA celebrates Jewish New Year

Posted: Updated:

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -  The ball didn't drop in Times Square Wednesday night, but it is a new year for members of one faith.

Thursday is Rosh Hashanah and the first day of the Jewish year 5772. Translated into English, Rosh Hashanah means "Head of the Year."

It's observed for two days beginning on the 1st of Tishrei. "We find it primarily in Leviticus 23 and it's listed there as a feast of shofars. The blowing of the shofar," said Rabbi Robert Ackerman.

In Judaism, Thursday is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve and the beginning of the human race. The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram's horn.

It's also a time where Jews come together to repent individually and as a congregation. "The big focus during this time is repentance and we're now entering into the 10 days of Awe, the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur," said Ackerman.

Folks from all over south Georgia and North Florida were at the Beit Shalom Synagogue in Thomasville Thursday.

They sang prayers, read from the torah, and blew the shofar. Three major Jewish holidays are observed during this time of the year.

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. "We usually build a synagogue sukkah, a tabernacle on the outside of the synagogue here. It's usually anywhere from 30-40 feet long and as a congregation we're able to gather under it and eat on the days of Sukkot," said Ackerman.

Following the service the congregation went out to Cherokee Lake Park where they began the 10 days of Awe by throwing bread into the lake.

Each piece of bread symbolizes a sin they want forgiven. The holiest day of the year in the Jewish faith, Yom Kippur, begins at sundown October 7th.


Copyright 2011 WALB. All rights reserved.