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Why do we celebrate two days of Rosh Hashanah? How will the second day of Rosh Hashanah be different at Emanu-El this year?

The Torah only refers to one day of Rosh Hashanah - a day when the shofar is sounded and work is prohibited. In ancient days, the Sanhedrin (Jewish congress) was tasked with announcing the beginning of the new year, since it was dependent on making sure that the moon was new (not visible to those on Earth), thus signifying the new month of Tishrei and start of Rosh Hashanah. But since the Sanhedrin's announcement of the new year didn't necessarily reach remote areas in time for the start of the holiday, the ancient rabbis didn't want a community to start Rosh Hashanah on the wrong day, which might lead its inhabitants to inadvertently work on the wrong day. Thus, as a safeguard, we began observing two days of Rosh Hashanah.

Even though the content of Second Day Rosh Hashanah services is largely the same as that of the first day, there will be several special reasons to make sure to attend on Day Two, Tuesday, October 1st:

  • A couple of sections of the early part of the service will be abbreviated.
  • Our guest speaker will be Yaron Ayalon, the new director of College of Charleston's Jewish Studies program.
  • We will read a story for kids on the bimah.
  • Our COSY kids will do a skit about the Torah reading.

We hope to see you on both days of Rosh Hashanah.

"The entire world is a very narrow bridge - the key is to not be afraid." -Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav

Fri, January 24 2020 27 Tevet 5780