Rosh Hashanah – More Than Just a New Year

Rosh Hashanah – More Than Just a New Year

Services Schedule

In anticipation of the upcoming Jewish New Year, Chabad of Reston-Herndon has announced its High Holiday Services schedule.

Information for Chabad's open to the community Services for Rosh Hashanah (Sept. 24 –26) and Yom Kippur (Oct. 3-4), as well as to reserve, can be found at http://www.chabad....">

Membership is not required to join. All are welcome, free of charge, regardless of background or affiliation.

In addition, a special children's program will accompany the adult services.

For more information on the above event, call Rabbi Leibel Fajnland at 703-476-1829 or write to

Community Shofar Factory

On Sunday, Sept. 21, adults, students and children of all ages will get the unique opportunity to participate in a demonstration and hands-on workshop, crafting their own Shofars, or ram's horn (while supplies last), for the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year.

The Shofar is perhaps the oldest wind instrument known to mankind. Consisting of a simple horn taken from a ram or similar animal. The Shofar is sounded in Jewish houses of worship on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and at the end of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

The Shofar Factory is open to the general public on Sunday, Sept. 21, 1:30 - 3 p.m. at the Home Depot 1651 Reston Parkway, Reston. Admission to the presentation is free. Cost of Shofar craft $15. To attend or to reserve a Shofar please email

Throughout the year, the Jewish calendar is filled with Holidays commemorating key historic spiritual and physical milestones in Jewish history. Passover recalls our Exodus from Egypt, Shavuot receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, Purim the saving of the Jewish nation from Haman and King Xerxes of Persia. As Rosh Hashanah approaches, one may wonder, what’s happening, what key event in Jewish history do the Days of Awe commemorate?

The Talmud tells us that Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year is the anniversary of, not the first day of creation, but rather the sixth, the day of creation that brought us Adam -- Mankind. It is poignant that it does not celebrate the creation of the physical world, which according to Jewish tradition actually occurred five days earlier.

Mystical thought explains the focus on people rather than the world on these holiest of Days as follows. G-d created the world not to have static, lifeless planetary matter but rather a dynamic changeable world whose material crassness could be transformed into a dwelling place for Him -- by the G-dly actions, thoughts and words of people. To change the world for the good, and for good. Into a place where G-d and G-dliness would not seem to be incongruent with the reality in which It was uncovered.

Furthermore, our sages teach us that the reason Adam/Man was created a single being (unlike other species which were created in large numbers) was to demonstrate how one person equals a whole world. Every individual regardless of personal status has the capacity to rise and attain the highest degree of fulfillment for his/her self and the rest of the world.

So when Rosh Hashanah arrives, we commit ourselves to a more intense bond with G-d, to a more meaningful and deeper relationship with Him, and to redoubling our efforts in perfecting the world. We don’t need a specific event to be the focus of Rosh Hashanah, for the holiday commemorates the very purpose for which we are here.

May I wish you and those you love, in the words of our Jewish tradition, Leshana Tova U'Metuka—a good and sweet year. May it be a year filled with good health, prosperity and meaning. May we all merit to be written and sealed in the Book of Life for a happy, healthy and meaningful year.

Rabbi Leibel Fajnland is Director of Chabad of Reston – Herndon. Tel: 703-476-1829. Email: