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Area's Jewish community to mark Rosh Hashanah

September 19, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

The next few weeks are not only the busiest but also the most solemn and festive for Jewish people everywhere.

Here in Washington County, a whirl of activities begins on Sunday, Sept. 20, with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

"There will be a service that night at 8 p.m. and on Monday, Sept. 21, at 10 a.m., for the one-day observance that says we are happy to be starting the year off afresh," said Rabbi Janice Garfunkel of B'Nai Abraham.

At 4 p.m. on Sept. 21 there is a service at the synagogue followed an hour later by a walk to Hagerstown City Park where a tradition of throwing crumbs in the lake, symbolizing throwing away sins, is called Tashlich.

"We will feed our sins to the ducks," Garfunkel said with a smile.

Throughout the festival season, Jews make amends to those they have sinned against.

"We believe God doesn't forgive our sins if we don't make amends for ourselves," Garfunkel said.

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That belief in God's sovereignty is the theme of the holy season.

The next holiday is Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, when Jews fast for a day. Beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 29, there is a service at 7:30 p.m.

On Sept. 30, there is a service at 10 a.m., a family program at 2 p.m. and another service at 3 p.m., Garfunkel said.

Then four days later, the eight-day harvest festival - Sukkot - gets under way. A family potluck dinner will be held at Garfunkel's home on Sunday, Oct. 4.

"The last day is Simchat Torah where we rejoice with the finishing of the Torah reading," Garfunkel said. "Then we begin again with Genesis and read it all again."

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