Jews celebrate new year with Rosh Hashanah

Jews ushered in the High Holy Days Monday with services celebrating Rosh Hashanah — the Jewish New Year.

In Charlotte, services included an alternative featuring modern Jewish music from The Ruach (“the spirit” in Hebrew).

“The Rosh Hashanah Experience” also featured traditional elements — the blowing of the shofar, or ram’s horn, and the reading from the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible.

A sermon was delivered by Rabbi Rachel Smookler.

This Rosh Hashanah, which began at sundown Sunday, marks the start of year 5779 on the Jewish calendar. “Shana Tova” is the Hebrew greeting to have a “Good Year.”

Also called the birthday of the world, Rosh Hashanah marks the start of the High Holy Days, a period of repentance and introspection that will culminate with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which starts at sundown on Sept. 18.