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A quick guide to Jewish holidays and traditions

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We’re nearing the holiday season and with it comes celebrations, especially in the Jewish religion. 

Arthur Rennels, a retired Messianic Jewish Rabbi, said the most recent holiday was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah translates to “head [of] the year.” This year, Rosh Hashanah lasted from sundown on Sept. 29 until sundown on  Oct. 1. Rennels said  Rosh Hashanah is also known as the “feast of trumpets.”  He said this is because before Rosh Hashanah it is tradition for the shofar to be blown 40 days prior the feast to signal the coming of the Messiah. 

During Rosh Hashanah there is the “10 days of awe” or the “days of repentance.” This is a time to consider the sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur. Among some of the traditions of this time, it is tradition to seek reconciliation with people you may have wronged during the course of the year. 

“The most holy day in Judaism is Yom Kippur,” Rennels said. 

Yom Kippur is also known as the “day of atonement” or “day of judgement.” Its central themes are atonement and repentance. Jewish people traditionally go through a period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services. This holiday is usually in the months of September and October. This year, Yom Kippur began Oct. 8 and went through sundown Oct. 9. 

Once Yom Kippur is over, there is the holiday of Sukkot. Sukkots were hut-like structures the Jews lived in during their 40 years of travel through the wilderness. 

“This is the time for Jewish people to remember wandering in the wilderness for 40 years after the exodus from Egypt,” Rennels said. 

Sukkot will last from sundown Oct. 13 until sundown on Sunday.

Rennels said the biggest thing about these holidays is the tradition behind it. 

“These holidays help Jewish people remember their history and carry on tradition,” Rennels said.

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