Jewish dinner to celebrate new year

Members of the Jewish Community of the Algarve will be celebrating the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah 5765, on September 15 with a buffet dinner in Portimão. Organiser Ralf Pinto explains the significance of the event and its name.

The Jewish calendar year of 5765 is counted from the creation and is based on a lunar month. The first month is named Tishri. The first 10 days of a Jewish New Year are referred to as the ten days of penitence. They are set aside for careful self-examination, of how one has failed others, oneself, but most importantly, how one has failed God. The dominant themes of this period are Repentance, Judgement and Atonement – God alone sits in judgement of each individual, deciding who will be entered in the Book of Life for a further year. The 10 days of Penitence culminate in Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), when the entire day from sunset to the next sunset is spent in prayer and total fasting. The shofar (Ram’s Horn) is sounded more than a hundred times during the New Year synagogue services. The greeting offered to each other at New Year is in Hebrew, ‘Leshanah Tovak Tikatevu’, meaning ‘may you be inscribed for a good year’ (in the Book of Life).

The buffet dinner will include traditional foods such as gefilte fish, chopped liver and herring and challah (round white bread), etc, followed by apple slices, which are dipped in honey and eaten to symbolically ensure a ‘seet’ year ahead. For further information, please contact Ralf Pinto on 282 416 710, fax 282 416 515 or e-mail ralf.pinto@sapo.pt.