By Staff Report

With just a few weeks before the onset of the Jewish New Year, there are still many Jews who have no plans to attend synagogue services this High Holiday season. With this in mind, Chabad of Brandon is offering their friendly and welcoming services for free for the Brandon Jewish community.

While many may not be affiliated with a synagogue, others may find the cost unaffordable, particularly in light of today’s flailing economy. For a family of five, services can run up to a thousand dollars or more. Whatever the case is, many of these would-be worshipers are feeling the pangs associated with being left out of the holiest days of the Jewish calendar.

By providing free Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services in a warm and inclusive setting, Chabad of Brandon hopes to accommodate those who may otherwise not be celebrating the holiday. Chabad’s “user-friendly” services make it enjoyable and meaningful for both the beginner and the advanced. Song, commentary and the use of English-Hebrew prayerbooks, enable those of all levels to become active participants in the services.

“According to Jewish tradition, on the Jewish New Year, the doors of Heaven are open. G-d accepts prayers from everyone,” said Rabbi Mendel Rubashkin of Chabad of Brandon, who is hosting free services in Brandon. “The least we can do is open our doors as well, to the entire community.”

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is observed this year at sundown on Sunday, September 13 through nightfall on Tuesday, September 15. Meaning “head of the year,” the two day holiday commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday.

Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement—is considered the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Beginning this year after sundown on Tuesday, September 22, and extending until nightfall on Wednesday, September 23, it marks the culmination of the 10 Days of Awe, a period of introspection and repentance that follows Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. According to tradition, G-d decides each person’s fate on this day, so Jews mark the day by making amends and asking forgiveness for sins committed during the past year. The holiday is observed with fasting and prayers.

For more information, visit Reserve a space for this year’s High Holidays by calling 571-8100.

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