Celebrating New Beginnings Through Rosh Hashanah


"Ringing bells and doing readings."

This was a response from a couple of eighth graders in Chaplain Melissa Robinson's religion class when queried about what they did to plan this morning's Rosh Hashanah chapel. But in reality, the students wove together a beautiful gathering that included reflections, poetry, and the sharing of special holiday traditions.

As Chaplain Robinson put it, the chapel was a chance for everyone to honor, celebrate, and learn about the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashanah. The religion class students (all '22) took turns offering different examples of these elements to comprise the experience. Ashwin S. delivered a moving reading of Marge Piercy's poem "The late year," which begins with "I like Rosh Hashanah late/when the leaves are half burnt umber and scarlet, when sunset/marks the horizon with slow fire/".

A very special part of the chapel was brought to life by Hayley K.'22, who not only spoke to her peers about her family's new year traditions but also blew a shofar (a ram's horn used as a call to prayer during Rosh Hashanah)! "The second night of Rosh Hashanah we go over to my grandparents' house," Hayley explained. "We do the blessing of the candles prayer and eat together as a family, which is really fun because there's a lot of food, like sweet challah bread."

Thank you to the religion students and to Chaplain Robinson for your hard work in celebrating new beginnings!

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