Chabad Mercer Island offers free, 30-minute Rosh Hashanah service

  • Monday, September 18, 2017 2:00pm
  • Life

Rabbi Nissan Kornfeld of Chabad Mercer Island knows that to engage members of the tribe, one often needs to lower the barriers of entry, often beyond the synagogue formalities.

To accommodate those who would otherwise not participate in formal Rosh Hashanah synagogue services, the rabbi is promoting a brief, open to all, 30-minute Rosh Hashanah ceremony that includes the primary observances of the holiday. As this is for the whole family, there will also be special prizes for children.

The “Community Tashlich and Shofar Service” will take place at 5 p.m. on Sept. 21 in Luther Burbank Park.

Tashlich is an ancient practice rich in symbolic and mystical meaning, which is customarily performed on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. A brief prayer is recited near a body of water, preferably containing live fish; “in which we express our prayerful hope that G‑d cast our indiscretions into the depths of the sea, and that we be granted a good and sweet new year filled with G‑d’s abundant and manifest blessings.”

The sounding of the shofar is the central mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah. Typically, it is part of the Rosh Hashanah synagogue services. However, if for any reason one did not attend services, the shofar sounding can be fulfilled throughout the day of Rosh Hashanah. The mitzvah of shofar also contains many deep and inspiring messages for people to reflect upon.

“According to Jewish tradition the gates of heaven are open on the New Year, and G‑d accepts prayers from everyone,” Kornfeld said. “That served as our inspiration to create Rosh Hashanah opportunities for everyone in the community.”

This local initiative comes as the world marks 50 years since the late leader of Chabad, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, initiated the worldwide Mitzvah Campaigns, a historic undertaking that took Jewish observance to the streets.

“The Rebbe insisted that Judaism be made accessible to all Jews,” Kornfeld said. “During the High Holiday period, accessibility can mean different things to different people. For some it means shorter, more user-friendly services, for others it means a nonjudgmental atmosphere, while for still others accessibility means affordability, and no expectation of membership or affiliation. Our goal is to lower the barriers of entry, and to encourage each and every Jewish person to actively participate in the observances of Rosh Hashana.”

Rosh Hashanah begins this year at sundown on Sept. 20 and extends until nightfall on Sept. 22, leading into Shabbat.

For more information about this ceremony, contact Kornfeld at 206-851-2324 and nissan@chabadmercerisland.org, or visit www.ChabadMercerIsland.org.

More in Life

County Green Schools program recognizes MI schools

Two elementary schools, Islander Middle School and Mercer Island High School were recognized.

City celebrates Emergency Preparedness and Ham Radio day

The city of Mercer Island will be participating in ARRL Field Day on June 23 and 24.

Mercer Island High School graduates 360

The class of 2018 has eight valedictorians, all with perfect 4.0 grade point averages.

Photo courtesy of MIHS
Mercer Island High School students win at BioExpo

Nineteen students from MIHS won awards at the recent Student BioExpo.

Reporter File Photo
Residential solar installation campaign launches

The installation initiative seeks to bring 60 to 80 new solar arrays to Mercer Island.

Alliance of Eastside Agencies announces 2018 awards

Numerous Eastside Alliance members received awards for Outstanding Contribution in Human Services.

Photo courtesy of Mercer Island High School
MIHS team earns trophy at Destination Imagination Global Finals

“Syntax Folly” placed third at the finals in Knoxville Tenn., earning MIHS their first finals trophy.

Lindsay Oliveira’s fourth grade class meets up with their pen pals at Aljoya for an end-of-the-year get together. Photos courtesy of Northwood Elementary
Northwood Elementary students visit pen pals at Aljoya

Lindsay Oliveira’s fourth grade class becomes pen pals with Aljoya residents each year.

Sunrise Senior living receives quality awards

Local communities won the award, including Sunrise of Bellevue, Bothell and Mercer Island.

Most Read