Rosh Hashanah celebration marks beginning of Jewish holiday week at CSU

Gina Spoden

Sundown Sunday marked the beginning of the two-day celebration of Rosh Hashanah, and the Jewish community of Fort Collins gathered in the Fort Collins Senior Center to celebrate.

Rosh Hashanah signifies the beginning of the new year in the Jewish calendar and the start of the High Holy Days, a 10-day period leading up to Yom Kippur.

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The members of the Chabad of Northern Colorado began the festivities with an evening service led by Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik. Greetings of “shanah tovah” were passed around, meaning, “Have a good year.”

Passages from the Machzor, a Jewish prayer book, were sung and read in both English and Hebrew, and the rabbi stressed the importance of everyone connecting in different ways and at their own pace.

“(Judaism) is relevant to us, even in 2015 — no matter what you’re going through,” he said.

Following the service, attendees were served a five-course meal, including traditional apples and honey that symbolize a sweet new year. However, despite the joyful welcoming of the new year, many Jewish people aren’t quick to forget the past.

“In life, first we have the test, then we have the lesson,” Gorelik said, reminding attendees that the High Holy Days are a time of reflection on the past year.

Those practicing Judaism will spend the next 10 days in repentance, fasting on the last day. This is a time for the individual to make amends for past behavior and ask for forgiveness before fate is sealed on Yom Kippur.

Both the Chabad Jewish Student Association and Hillel at CSU are hosting events at the Chabad Jewish Center and at the Lory Student Center Plaza throughout the week for students to participate in the holiday. This will include blowing a shofar, a hollowed-out ram’s horn, to remind Jewish people to examine their actions and correct their ways.

For more information on how to get involved with Jewish organizations on campus, contact Alex Amchislavskiy from Hillel at CSU at (970) 224-4246 or Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik on the Chabad of Northern Colorado website.

Collegian Reporter Gina Johnson Spoden can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @gina_spoden5.