08 September 2010, 11:31
Russian Jews will ask God for forgiveness on first day of Jewish New Year
Moscow, September 8, Interfax - Celebrations dedicated to the New Year according to the Jewish calendar (Rosh Hashanah) will start on Wednesday evening at the Moscow Jewish Community Center.
Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar will congratulate guests. They will light candles and participate in the "prayer of the year": renowned cantor from New York Rabbi Shneur Zalman Baumgarten will chair the service, the Federation of the Jewish Communities of Russia told Interfax-Religion.
During the "prayer of the year" believers stand before God's judgment and each of them should report for the previous year, repent in evil deeds and thus return to God. People congratulate each other saying: "May a good decision on you be written down and sealed the coming year."
Festival concert will take place at the community center on the same day. Festival services will be held here on Thursday and then participants will blow the ritual horn - shofar in the yard. The sound of shofar urges believers to accept the Kingdom of God. In ancient times it was the way to celebrate enthronement of kings.
Jews start their chronology from the creation of the world and the coming year is 5771 for them.
The Jewish New Year is celebrated for two days. This feast is also considered the day of judgment when the Almighty considers people's deeds and decide on their future in the coming year.
According to the old Jewish tradition, names of all people living on Earth are written in the heavenly Book of Life. On Rosh Hashanah days, God writes in the book what destiny is in store for people: "Who will live and who will die, who will live quietly and who will be exposed to trials, who will be prosperous and who will be distressed, who will be rich and who will be poor."
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