University students celebrate Rosh Hashana

By Michael Logli

For those of the Jewish faith, Rosh Hashana is the most important holiday of the year, said Rabbi Dovid Tiechtel, director of Chabad Jewish Center, 509 S. Fourth St. But it is a time of both seriousness and joy, he said.

“It accepts the idea that God is king among us,” Tiechtel said.

Rosh Hashana begins at sundown today and ends at sundown on Friday, Sept. 14. The holiday marks the Jewish New Year and is the beginning of a 10-day period of observance culminating with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

The University will work with students missing classes for religious observance, Tiechtel said. Students observing Rosh Hashana are allowed to miss a class with prior notice, but some teachers may require a note, he said.

“Students should not have to lose a grade because of religious observance,” Tiechtel said. “And the University has been very understanding about that.”

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Tiechtel said that students tend to go home to observe the holiday with family. Many students will stay on campus for Rosh Hashana since it is on a weekday. Chabad is offering various activities to make being at school seem “just like home.” Chabad is hosting services and Kosher dinners throughout the week. It will also sound the shofar, a ram’s horn, 100 times between now and Yom Kippur. While this can have many interpretations, it is generally a sign of bringing in the new year and redeclaring God as king over man, Tiechtel said.

Acts of repentance, such as Chabad’s Mitzvah Marathon that commemorated Sept. 11 on Tuesday, are also part of observations.

“The best thing to remove evil is to do good deeds,” Tiechtel said. “It sends a message to the entire world.”

Though Chabad has the facilities to hold religious services, the Hillel Foundation, the center for Jewish student life on campus, is under renovation and unable to hold services or meals in its temporary office at 606 W. Ohio St. Instead, the foundation worked with the University to rent three rooms at the McKinley Foundation, 809 S. Fifth St., to hold services.

Hillel’s services begin at sundown today at the McKinley Foundation. Services for Orthodox, Conservative and Reform practitioners are available. Chabad will hold a candle lighting service, as well as a dinner at around 7 p.m. today.

Campus services for Rosh Hashana today

Hosted by the Hillel Foundation, at the McKinley Foundation, 809 S. Fifth St. on Wednesday

  • Orthodox Services- 6:30 p.m., Geneva Room.
  • Conservative Services- 6:30 p.m., Westminister Room.
  • Reform Services- 7:45 p.m., Westminister Room.

Hosted by Chabad Jewish Center, 509 S. Fourth St.

  • Rosh Hashana Service 6:50 p.m.
  • Dinner 7:40 p.m.