August 31, 2015
July and August flew past. As we prepare to go in to the month of September, I want to say a few words about the holidays in September that we will be observing.
First, we will celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday in September. It is a yearly tribute to the contributions that American workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. I want to pay tribute to all faculty and staff at Touro University Nevada. Every one of you contribute to the well-being of the university and our students on a daily basis.
Next, we will be celebrating our Jewish heritage by observing Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. These holidays start mid-September and run thru the first part of October.
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holy Days and is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram’s horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a “sweet new year”.
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish faith. It is also known as the Day of Atonement and is commemorated with additional prayers, asking others for forgiveness, giving charity, and two festive meals.
Historically, Sukkot commemorates the forth-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in a Sukkah. Meals are eaten in the sukkah and special blessings are read. Outside of Israel, the first and last two days are celebrated as full festivals.
At the beginning of September, our Rabbi Wasser provides a wonderful overview to understanding the High Holidays to our students, faculty, and staff. It’s a great opportunity to learn more of the heritage of Touro University Nevada.
So while the holidays provide a lot of time off, I encourage everyone to take the time to learn more and appreciate the history behind each holiday. As President Theodore Roosevelt said, “The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future.”