Monday marks Jewish New Year

The area Jewish community celebrates Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, on Monday.

According to Rabbi Peter Grumbacher, the interim rabbi for Beth El Congregation in Winchester, the Hebrew calendar follows lunar and solar cycles to mark the new year, as opposed to Earth’s revolutions around the sun in the Gregorian (modern) calendar.

He said Jews celebrate by attending services on the night before the holiday, Erev Rosh Hashana, as well as services the day of, prior to a festive dinner at home with friends and family.

“Part of it is celebrated at home with a festive dinner at which time traditionally we have a challah, which is a special bread,” he said. “The challah is round to indicate the flow of the year. You dip it in honey to wish everybody a sweet new year.”

As per the Jewish calendar, Monday begins the year 5777.

The new year marks the beginning of a 10-day period, the days of awe, in which Jews reflect on their good deeds of the past year. This period ends with Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement.

“On Yom Kippur, there is a confession before God where you ask for forgiveness,” Grumbacher said.

Erev Rosh Hashana services begin at 8 p.m. Sunday at Beth El Congregation at 520 Fairmont Ave. in Winchester. Rosh Hashanah services begin at 10 a.m. Monday.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com.