The Jewish High Holidays are upon us

Jews around the world and in the McLean community celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur


Temple Rodef Shalom is located in Falls Church Virginia. It has the largest congregation in the U.S. led by a female rabbi. To learn more about the temple, visit (Photo by Emily Friedman)

Emily Friedman, Reporter

This week, Jews all around the world are celebrating the High Holidays, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which are considered to be the holiest holidays of the Jewish year. 

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year. It is a festive holiday, where jews celebrate and attend temple to pray.

“[On Rosh Hashanah], we wake up to go the early services in the morning. After services, we go to a family friend’s house and have lunch there,” sophomore Zora Rothenberg said. 

Jews believe that Rosh Hashanah should be a day of rest and relaxation, so many of them choose to stay home from school or work. 

“I miss school because [Rosh Hashanah is] a day where we’re not supposed to do any work,” Rothenberg said. “My parents take off work, and my brother also takes off school.” 

All Jewish holidays last from sundown in the evening, until sundown the next evening, instead of just a calendar day like holidays of other religions. This year, Rosh Hashanah began the evening of Sep 29. 

“I know [the holiday is special]. I’ve been celebrating it since I was really little and going to the temple is important to me,” Rothenberg said. 

After Rosh Hashanah, Jews believe that the next ten days should be used to repent your sins by asking for forgiveness from God, or from people you may have hurt during the last year. After those ten days comes Yom Kippur, which is considered to be a solemn holiday. 

“On Yom Kippur, we’re also going to services, but we usually go for a big dinner the night before because we’re going to be fasting,” Rothenberg said. “We go to late services so we get to sleep in. [In the evening], we always host break the fast so everyone comes over to our house. 

This holy week is incredibly important to the Jewish community because it connects Jews all around the world as a new year begins.