Today is the start of the High Holy Days in Israel. Today is Rosh Hashana—the start of the Jewish new year (5779 in case you were wondering). Next week is Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement. Just a few days after that is Sukkot; what we know in the Bible as the Feast of Tabernacles. Then on October 1st, is Simchat Torah, the celebration of Torah and completion of the annual reading cycle. It’s a busy holiday season.
Rosh Hashana is noted by the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn). Jews will also have special services and prayers in the synagogues on Monday and Tuesday. Traditionally, apples with honey are eaten as a symbol and hope for a sweet new year.
Last night, a few of us went down to the Kotel (the Western Wall of the former 2nd Temple platform) to observe the festivities. We didn’t get to hear any blowing of the shofar, but there was a good bit of prayer, singing and celebration. I was able to catch a little of it on video.