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Mon, May 20

High Holy Days herald focus on self-improvement

In this time of widespread world unrest and minimal civility among government officials, many of us feel there is little we can do to help the world be a better place. Yet each year we Jews have set aside High Holy Days, Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), as days for prayer and contemplation on how best we can achieve changes in ourselves to maximize our contributions to bettering the world. After all, lots of small improvements can often add up to a large improvement whether in our families, our neighborhoods, our environments, our governments, or even just our relationships with others.

We listen to the call of the shofar (ram's horn). We symbolically cast away our sins as bread upon flowing waters. We remember the good lessons of the past and honor those no longer with us who taught us those lessons. We search for understanding of the mitzvot, good deeds, as we repent for having neglected or violated them in the past. Of course, we also include festive meals along the way with friends and family. After all, we need to keep up our strength so we can perform mitzvot!

This year Beit Torah Jewish Congregation invites all to join us in our Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur observances. First day Rosh HaShanah (Sunday, Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 14 at 10 a.m.) and Yom Kippur (Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 10 a.m.) will be in Chino Valley at the meeting hall between the food bank and the church, 735 E. Road 1 S.

For second day Rosh HaShanah, Tuesday Sept. 15 at 10 a.m., a brunch service will be combined with our annual Taschlich service at Fain Park in Prescott Valley, 2200 N 5th St. For details and directions, call 928-237-0390, write or check out the website at


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