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Modesto’s Congregation Beth Shalom marks Rosh Hashanah with community seder

Shoshana Bochner stands with Michael Pascal, 12, as he lights the candles at the Rosh Hashanah service and seder to mark the start of the High Holy Days that last through mid-October at Congregation Beth Shalom in Modesto on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014.
Shoshana Bochner stands with Michael Pascal, 12, as he lights the candles at the Rosh Hashanah service and seder to mark the start of the High Holy Days that last through mid-October at Congregation Beth Shalom in Modesto on Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. dnoda@modbee.com

The local Jewish community gathered for services and a seder Wednesday evening at Congregation Beth Shalom to mark the beginning of Rosh Hashanah and the High Holy Days. Also called the 10 Days of Awe, the High Holy Days are a time when Jewish people around the world focus on their mistakes of the past year and seek God’s forgiveness. It begins with blasts of the shofar, or ram’s horn, at the start of Rosh Hashanah – which literally means the “Head of the Year” – and ends with Yom Kippur and a 25-hour fast before the shofar sounds a final time. Wednesday evening, Rabbi Shalom Bochner led the services, followed by the seder, made up of ritual foods symbolizing a good year.

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