David Bier is 4 1/2 years old but when it was Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish year and time for Rosh Hashanah services to begin the High Holy Days, David wanted to attend with the adults.
He loved seeing the Torah scrolls dressed in white covers (signifying "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow") that stayed on until Yom Kippur. But David especially loved to hear the sound of the shofar or ram's horn as it sounded in the synagogue.The 10 days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, known as the "Days of Awe," are a time of reflection, reassessment and recommitment. Salt Lake area Jews celebrated Rosh Hashanah on Sept. 30 and the holiest day of the year, Yom Kippur, onMonday.
Rosh Hashanah has been celebrated since the time of Moses when it was proclaimed in The Book of Leviticus:
"In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, there shall be a solemn rest for you, a sacred convocation commemorated with the blast of the ram's horn. You shall not work at any of your ordinary labor, and you shall bring a fire offering to the Lord." (Lev. 23:23-25.)
Many Jewish families ate a Rosh Hashanah dinner. For the Beir family, Rich, director of industrial rehabilitation for McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, and Eve, executive director of the James L. White Jewish Community center, dinner is a family tradition of many generations. "We may have stuffed cabbage, brisket pot roast or turkey or gefelte fish with chicken soup and matzah ball and honey cakes," Eve Bier said. It is also tradition to have round challah bread, sliced apples to dip in honey, with wine and grape juice. The round apple and challah bread represent the fullness of life and honey signifies the wish for a sweet year.
Yom Kippur is observed with fasting and services at the synagogue. The sounding of the shofar signifies the end of the holiday and families return home to break their fast.
The new Jewish year 5750 began with the High Holidays, and for young David Bier, these 10 days were a special time. "I like the candles and the challah and the honey, because it's sticky," he said.