Congregation Etz Chaim of Du Page County will gather Saturday, Aug. 31, to usher in the Days of Awe—the Jewish High Holy Days.
At 9:30 p.m., Rabbi Steven M. Bob and Professor Lynn Cohick of Wheaton College will lead a study session on sin and forgiveness in Judaism and Christianity. Selichot, a penitential prayer service, will follow in the sanctuary.
Professor Cohick, who earned her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, describes her academic interest in “how average Jews and Christians lived out their faith in the ancient settings of Hellenism and the Roman Empire, as well as how Jews and Christians today can better appreciate and understand each other.” She joined the faculty of Wheaton College in 2000, and is the author of four books and numerous scholarly articles.
Steven Bob has been Senior Rabbi at Congregation Etz Chaim since 1981. He is the author of the newly published book “Go to Nineveh: Medieval Jewish Commentaries on the Book of Jonah.” An adjunct faculty member at Wheaton College and Elmhurst College, he is a founder of the Du Page Interfaith Resource Council. Rabbi Bob received his Doctor of Divinity degree from the Hebrew Union College.
Conducted by candlelight, the Selichot (pronounced “slee-khoat”) service is a prelude to the liturgy of the High Holidays—the period from Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, through Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Together, the High Holidays are the holiest days on the Jewish calendar, a period of reflection, repentance and renewal.
“I look forward to examining Jewish and Christian views of sin and forgiveness with my colleague Professor Cohick. She is a lively speaker and an engaging teacher,” Rabbi Bob said. “This discussion will be a perfect introduction to the themes of the High Holidays.”
Jewish New Year 5774
Congregation Etz Chaim will gather at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, to observe the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah, literally “the head of the year,” begins the Jewish High Holy Days, also known as the Days of Awe. On the Jewish calendar, the New Year will be the year 5774.
Rosh Hashanah observance will continue with 10 a.m. services on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 5 and 6. Special children’s services and babysitting will be available. Tickets are required for admission to High Holiday services.
The 10-day High Holiday period culminates in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Services begin with the “Kol Nidrei” (All Vows) service at 8:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13. Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, is a day of prayer, fasting, meditation, self-examination and penitence. Services at Congregation Etz Chaim are held throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sep. 14, and ending with a final blast of the “shofar” (ram’s horn) at sunset.
Congregation Etz Chaim, 1710 S. Highland Ave., Lombard, is the only Reform synagogue in DuPage County and has served the western suburbs for over 50 years. Its membership includes more than 550 families representing more than 50 different communities. For more information, call the synagogue office at (630) 627-3912 or go to www.CongEtzChaim.org
Information provided by Congregation Etz Chaim.