The Jewish Holidays


WUSF interviewed The Rabbi Fleekop as he explains how and why the celebration of

Rosh Hashanah

-Credit: Reena.Org


The High Holy Days are upon us, with Jews in Pensacola and around the world preparing their observances.

First up is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year 5778, which begins at sundown Wednesday and ends at nightfall on Friday.

“Rosh Hashanah is one of four biblical New Year’s, that’s a spiritual new year,” says Rabbi Joel Fleekop at Temple Beth-el in Pensacola – founded in 1876, it’s Florida’s oldest Jewish congregation.

“And over time, it’s become a time for the gathering of the Jewish community,” Fleekop said. “For coming together to begin this work of repentance; of reflecting of the year gone by, as we look ahead to the year to come.”

The “Days of Awe” are important times in Judaism, says Fleekop, to reflect on one’s mortality, the direction of one’s life and the direction in which one would like it to go.


Yom Kippur explained by Tampa Chadbad Chai Synagogue

Yom Kippur

The Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year—the day on which we are closest to G‑d and to the quintessence of our own souls. It is the Day of Atonement—“For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before G‑d” (Leviticus 16:30).



Yom Kippur 2021 (the Day of Atonement): September 15–16

For nearly twenty-six hours—from several minutes before sunset on 9 Tishrei (September 15) to after nightfall on 10 Tishrei (September 16)—we “afflict our souls”: we abstain from food and drink, do not wash or anoint our bodies, do not wear leather footwear, and abstain from marital relations. Instead our time is spent in prayer


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