STAR-BULLETIN / 2005
Mendy Goldstein, visiting the Daniel Levey Chabad Hebrew School here from Brooklyn two years ago, blows a ram's horn called a shofar in preparation for the Jewish New Year.
Welcome, New Year 5768
The music of the High Holy Days reaches deep into the Jewish spirit
Hebrew prayers and songs for Jewish High Holy Days services are memorized by youngsters and become more meaningful the older a person grows, said the music leader of Temple Emanu-El.
"The liturgy has taken on a deeper meaning for me year by year," said Ken Aronowitz, cantorial soloist at the Nuuanu synagogue for the past eight years.
"The whole holy days are about taking stock, thinking of ways we missed the mark in the past year and how we can do better in the next year."
In the New Year's Day service, a passage begins, "B'Rosh Hashana ... about one's actions having a bearing on the experiences of the year to come. It's about turning yourself more toward God and having God take us back," said Aronowitz.
"There are heavy topics in there, about who will live during the next year. It hits home for me every passing year: Not everyone will be here next time we sing this."
The Days of Awe end with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Through the ages, Jews found the prayer sung on Yom Kippur Eve so meaningful that the service is now called "Kol Nidre" for the opening line, which translates, "Let all our vows and oaths."
"It was written over a period of history when Jews were forced to renounce their belief to save their lives," said Aronowitz. "It basically voids the vows. It says, 'Should we be unable to fulfill, let us be absolved.'
"Rabbis wanted to edit it out, but the people wanted it. Just the melody is so woven into people's consciousness and expectation. It is very haunting; it tugs at the heartstrings."
Another passage where everyone chimes in with the choir begins, "Avinu malkeinu," which addresses God as our father, our king. "It is a wonderful moment," said the cantor.
Even the least observant Jew is likely to attend services at this time of the year. Aronowitz said he hopes the experience of being part of a community strikes a chord and that "people see it as a time to think about taking a more participatory part."
Members of Christian choirs and community choral groups join the temple choir for the experience of singing the special, poignant music. At the Reform temple, the music of contemporary composers will be sung as well as the classic music.
"I tell the choir it's not supposed to be a concert. It's much more than that.
"For the people, there is a listening component and the more participatory moments."
Temples Schedule Ceremonies
Hawaii Jewish congregations will gather next week to celebrate the New Year 5768 of the Hebrew calendar. Rosh Hashana services Wednesday and Thursday begin a 10-day period of fasting and reflection on each person's relationship with God and other people. The High Holy Days conclude with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The scheduled services are:
Chabad of Hawaii
410 Atkinson Drive, 735-8161
Cantor Leibel Kahanov of Jacksonville, Fla., will lead the liturgical prayers throughout the Holy Days. Rabbi Itchel Krasnjansky will preside. The Orthodox congregation meets at the Ala Moana Hotel.
Reservations are required for communal dinners to be held Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The cost for visitors is $55 for adults and $35 for children; for kamaaina, $30 and $20.
Wednesday: Rosh Hashana eve service will begin at 6 p.m. with candle-lighting at 6:18 p.m. and a 6:30 p.m. evening service.
Thursday: The 10 a.m. morning service and 11 a.m. children's service will be followed by Tashlich at the shoreline at Magic Island, Ala Moana Park. Thursday evening service is at 7:30 p.m.
Friday: The service will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 21: Kol Nidre will be at 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 22: Yom Kippur service will begin at 10 a.m. with Yizkor at 11:30 a.m., Neilah at 5:45 p.m. Break-the-fast refreshments will be served at 7:15 p.m.
Congregation Sof Ma'arav
2500 Pali Highway, 595-3678
Members of the Conservative congregation lead the services.
Wednesday: The Erev Rosh Hashana service at 8 p.m. will be followed by a dessert potluck.
Thursday: The Rosh Hashana observance will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Friday: The service will continue from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sept. 21: Kol Nidre will begin at 6:15 p.m.
Sept. 22: Yom Kippur services will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. A a dairy potluck will follow.
2550 Pali Highway, 595-7521
Rabbi Peter Schaktman and cantorial soloist Ken Aronowitz will lead the recitation of prayers at the Reform synagogue.
Tickets for all services are available, and reservations are recommended. Call Jack Bacon, executive director, at ext. 215.
Wednesday: Erev Rosh Hashana will be marked at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday: The celebration of Rosh Hashana will begin at 9 a.m. The 2 p.m. children's service will be followed by Tashlich at the shoreline of Magic Island, Ala Moana Park.
Sept. 21: Kol Nidre will begin at 6:15 p.m.
Sept. 22: Yom Kippur morning service will begin at 9:30 a.m., with a children's service at 2 p.m. The afternoon service at 3 p.m. with Yizkor and Neilah will be followed by break-the-fast.