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Oklahoma City synagogue, families prepare for Jewish new year

Emanuel Synagogue in Oklahoma City and other houses of worship are preparing to celebrate Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, which begins at sundown Wednesday. Rosh Hashana marks the beginning of a 10-day period called the High Holy Days.
by Carla Hinton Published: September 4, 2013

Sales were brisk Tuesday in the gift shop of a local synagogue as families made preparations for the Jewish High Holy Days.

Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, begins at sundown Wednesday. It marks the beginning of the High Holy Days, a 10-day period that includes Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

Frances Marwil, 73, of Oklahoma City, head of the Emanuel Synagogue gift shop, said Shabbat candles, table linen, jewelry and gifts for children were among the items purchased Tuesday in anticipation of the coming holidays.

By tradition, the shofar, a ram's horn, will be blown at Rosh Hashana services to signify that the holy days have arrived. Many families drizzle honey over apples to symbolize their wish for a sweet new year. Families will eat challah, a bread typically eaten on the Sabbath, that has been baked in a circle instead of braided to symbolize the desire that the coming year roll around smoothly, without sorrow.

The holy days are filled with festive events but also include solemnity.

Yom Kippur, considered the most sacred day of the year, begins at sundown Sept. 13, and is marked by solemnity.

The holiday is an opportunity to review past deeds and ask forgiveness for sins. The Book of Jonah, filled with themes of repentance and forgiveness, is traditionally read during Yom Kippur services.

by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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