Jewish New Year begins with domestic and online services


LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset Monday, with some Los Angeles congregations and Jewish organizations hosting online and outdoor services for the second year in a row, while indoor services return in others after a year of absence.

“The difference between the summer holidays last year and this year has really been the development of COVID-19 vaccines,” said Rabbi Jason Weiner of the Knesset Israel, a modern Orthodox congregation based in Beverlywood. “It was a major turning point, and I think this year we can really look forward to a fresh start.”


What would you like to know

  • Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown Monday, with Los Angeles congregations and Jewish organizations hosting online and outdoor services
  • Rosh Hashanah marks the Jewish New Year and ushers in the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of repentance and contemplation culminating on Yom Kippur
  • The YWAM Community Center will be hosting what it calls “The High Holidays Under The Skies” in a tent in Beverly Hills at 7.15pm.
  • The Laugh Factory will host a free service at 11 a.m. on Tuesday with an in-person presence limited to 100 people due to social distancing protocols

Rosh Hashanah marks the Jewish New Year and ushers in the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of repentance and contemplation culminating in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the most solemn and dark day in Judaism.

During the Great Holy Days, Jewish tradition has it that God records the fate of each person for the coming year in the Book of Life, which is sealed at the end of Yom Kippur.

Services marking the arrival of the year 5782 on the Hebrew calendar will take place on Monday evening – the day begins at sunset on the Hebrew calendar – and Tuesday. They feature the sound of the shofar, a ram’s horn mentioned in the Torah and used by ancient Jews in religious ceremonies and as a call to arms – and now used on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

The Jews were biblically instructed to hear the shofar during the Holy Days.

Rosh Hashanah is a time for Jews to come together with their families and communities to reflect on the year that has passed and the year that is beginning. Celebrants also eat festive meals featuring apples dipped in honey, a symbol of the wishes of a sweet new year.

Although most congregations require membership and tickets for Great Holy Days services, some synagogues and organizations hold Rosh Hashanah services and celebrations that are open to the public free of charge.

The YWAM Community Center will host what it calls “The High Vacation Under Heaven” in a tent in Beverly Hills at 7:15 pm Monday with space for 1,000 people. Social distancing will be respected and masks are mandatory. Online RSVP is required.

The Laugh Factory will host a free service at 11 a.m. Tuesday with an in-person presence limited to 100 due to social distancing protocols. Participants must present a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination card before entering the Laugh Factory. Masks are mandatory for all participants.

Reservations are required and can be made by emailing [email protected]

The service will stream on The Laugh Factory’s YouTube channel, on Instagram at laughter factory and Facebook at @LaughFactoryHW.

This will be the 38th consecutive year that The Laugh Factory has offered free services for High Holy Days.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will broadcast a 24-hour Rosh Hashanah service starting at 7 a.m. Tuesday at cedars-sinai.org/patients-visitors/spiritual-care/judaism/services

Participants can follow the service via a downloadable PDF prayer book available at cedars-sinai.org/content/dam/cedars-sinai/patients/spiritual-care/documents/high-holidays-prayer-book.pdf.

In his Rosh Hashanah message, President Joe Biden said, “Rosh Hashanah and the days of fear that follow it task those who celebrate with pausing, looking within, and reflecting on the past year. Now is the time to undertake a soul inventory, a cheshbon hanefesh, and ask ourselves and others questions that go beyond our own individual beliefs: Who do I want to be? What kind of nation do we want to forge? What kind of world do we want to create?

“This is the message and gift of the Jewish New Year – a reminder of our infinite ability to transform our lives and start from scratch. Partner with the Divine and our fellow humans in the ongoing creation work. communities through empathy, acts of kindness and compassion Seek repentance, or teshuva, when we have not lived up to our values.

“Rosh Hashanah is a reaffirmation that we are each endowed, by virtue of our Creator and our common humanity, with the ability to bridge the gap between the world we see and the world we seek.”



Veronica J. Snell

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