Seymour Commanday, member of Beth Israel Synagogue in Beaufort, is warming up his shofar in anticipation of the upcoming High Holy Days during which the new year, 5772, is welcomed.
Jewish synagogues and temples begin their holidays Wednesday evening, before the new year begins Sept. 29, and continue through Oct. 22.
Made of a ram's horn, the shofar is "an important part of our holiday service," Commanday said. "It is a real ram's horn. It is not enhanced or embellished in any way."
Commanday's "musical instrument of religion" is about 14 inches long. Other shofars can be up to 3 feet in length.
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"It makes a loud roaring noise, a very high-pitched trumpet sound in a way, but is not as refined as a trumpet."
The small half-inch mouthpiece makes it difficult to play the blasts which are planned during a portion of different services.
"One of the reasons we play the shofar is to wake up the congregation both physically and spiritually because it is very loud and the sound reminds them of the trumpets that were blowing down from Mount Sinai when Moses was given the 10 Commandments and the Torah."
Since Commanday only blows the shofar annually, practice is a necessity.
The community will be able to listen during the 6 p.m. Tashlich Service on Friday at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in Beaufort. The celebration Wednesday evening includes a big meal, similar to that of Thanksgiving. Then 10 days of solemn study of sins and repentance are contemplated.
"We think about sins we have committed and consider how we may repent," Commanday explained. He and others in the Jewish community will also sound the shofar to end the high holidays on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Oct. 7.
Local services include:
BETH ISRAEL SYNAGOGUE
The introduction to High Holy Days is at 7 p.m. today with the S'lichot Musical. A memorial service is at 10:30 a.m. Sunday in Beth Israel Cemetery, Bladen Street, Beaufort. Erev Rosh HaShana begins at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday. Participants are asked to bring a dessert to share. On the first day of Rosh HaShana, the shofar will be sounded at 9:30 a.m. Thursday. A luncheon follows at 1 p.m. at Emily's Restaurant and reservations are required. The Tashlich Service is at 6 p.m. on the Beaufort River Friday. The Shabbat Shuvah is at 7 p.m. Friday. The Kol Nidre Yom Kippur services are at 6:45 p.m. Oct. 7. The Shabbat Yom Kippur is at 10 a.m. Oct. 8 with Yizkor approximately at 11:30 a.m., a break at 1:30 p.m. and resuming at 5 p.m. Also on Oct. 8, Mincha afternoon service begins at 5 p.m. Ne'ilah concluding service is at 6 p.m. Breakfast begins at 7 p.m. in the synagogue social hall. Participants are asked to bring a dairy dish to share.
The synagogue is behind the historic Beaufort Arsenal on Scott Street, Beaufort.
CONGREGATION BETH YAM
High Holy Days services will start shortly before the onset of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. A Selichot service that welcomes the holidays is today. It will be preceded with a dessert reception at 8 p.m. followed by a discussion led by Rabbi Brad Bloom. The Havdalah and Selichot service will follow at 10 p.m. The following day there will be a High Holy Day Teschuvah/Bike Ride at Dolphin Head Recreation Area in Hilton Head Plantation.
Rosh Hashanah services will start Wednesday at 8 p.m. The following day, Thursday, services will begin at 10 a.m. A Family Service will follow at 2 p.m., and a Tashlich ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. The morning service on the second day of Rosh Hashanah will start at 10 a.m.
There will be a memorial service at Six Oaks Cemetery Oct. 2 at 11 a.m. Yom Kippur services will begin with the Kol Nidre Service on Friday. There will be a morning service at 10 a.m., a family service at 2 p.m., an afternoon service at 3:15 and the Yizkor and Ne'ilah concluding service at 5 p.m. Oct. 8. At the conclusion of the services, at 6:30 p.m., there will be a Break the Fast at All Saints Church, next to the synagogue.
All services will be held at Congregation Beth Yam on Meeting Street, Hilton Head Island.
TEMPLE OSEH SHALOM OF BLUFFTON
Friends and neighbors are invited to High Holiday Services at the temple. Rosh Hashanah is celebrated at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and at 10 a.m. Thursday .
Tashlich service is at Terrace of Okatie Ale House immediately following services on Thursday. Yom Kippur and Kol Nidre services are at 7 p.m. Oct 7. Morning service is at 10 a.m. Oct. 8. Yizkor follows the morning service.
A discussion group begins at 4 p.m. and Nilah is at 5 p.m. The group meets at Lowcountry Presbyterian Church, Simmonsville Road and U.S. 278, Bluffton.
Free vehicle oil changes will be offered to single moms and moms with deployed husbands from 9 a.m.-noon today at Brock Automotive, 16 Forest Fields Road, Beaufort. The church offers free oil changes every four months. Volunteers are needed for a variety of duties.
Details: Chad Barr, 843-812-9048
PREGNANCY CENTER & CLINIC OF THE LOW COUNTRY
The center will hold its 21st annual Celebration from 6-9 p.m. today at Sea Pines Country Club. Michael Clancy is the keynote speaker. Silent and live auction fundraisers are planned. Tickets are $45. Dress is business attire.
ORANGE GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH
The church will conclude the celebration of the Rev. William Carpenter's 27th pastoral anniversary at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The church is at 189 Orange Grove Road, St. Helena Island.
Details: 843 838-4128
TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH
The Adelle Fleming Missionary Society will hold its annual missionary program at 4 p.m. Sunday. The theme is "This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it," Psalms 118:24. The church is at 911 Craven St., Beaufort.
CANAAN MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
Artist Jonathan Green will be the guest speaker for Youth Sunday at 11 a.m. Sunday. Green grew up in Gardens Corner and went to local schools. The church is at 908 Trask Parkway, Sheldon.
UNITY CHURCH OF HILTON HEAD ISLAND
Louise Cohen, Gullah storyteller, will offer a presentation from 12:30-2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Hampton Inn and Suites, next to Sun City Hilton Head. She will talk about the history of the Gullah people, sing gospel songs with natural music and perform the ring shout. Suggested offering is $15.
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP OF BEAUFORT
Members are invited to bring a friend for the Rev. Nan White's sermon, "Unitarian Universalism 101," at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The fellowship meets at 178 Sams Point Road, Lady's Island.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE SOCIETY OF BEAUFORT
"Reality" will be the Bible lesson topic presented at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Sunday School begins at 10:30 a.m. The society meets at Temple Beth Israel, 401 Scott St., Beaufort.
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION OF THE LOWCOUNTRY
The Rev. Manuel Holland will discuss, "How and Why Religion Should Support Justice, Equity and Compassion In Human Relations" at the 10 a.m. service Sunday. Religious education is provided during the service and refreshments follow. The church is at 110 Malphrus Road, Bluffton.
ST. LUKE'S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Recovery Services are held from 7-8 p.m. every Tuesday at the church at 3080 Okatie Highway, Bluffton/Okatie. The church near the back gates of Sun City Hilton Head wishes to extend an invitation to anyone interested in enhancing their present recovery as well as going back to the roots of Alcoholics Anonymous. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. with St. Luke's Pastor Richard Smith and other members and guests over coffee in the Social Hall. The service begins at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary with live contemporary Christian music.
CONGREGATION BETH YAM
Paul Krugman and Sylvia Nasar will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday as part of the Live from NY's 92nd Street Y Speakers Series. Krugman joined The New York Times in 1999 as a columnist on the Op-Ed page and is professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University. He is the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics. Nasar is a professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the author of the best-selling novel "A Beautiful Mind." Her latest book is "Grand Pursuit: A History of Economic Genius." The congregation is on Meeting Street, Hilton Head Island.
LUNCH HOUR OF POWER
Pastor Sylvester Ezell, pastor of Pine Grove Baptist Church, will speak from noon-12:45 p.m. Wednesday in Helen Galloway's Memorial Chapel of Chisholm Galloway Home for Funerals, 808 Bladen St., Beaufort.
WESLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
The Wesley Fall Bazaar will be from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 15. Donations may be dropped off from 10 a.m.-noon on Mondays and Wednesdays in the Education Building at Duke and West streets.
GILLISON BRANCH BAPTIST CHURCH
The church will celebrate its 143rd anniversary at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Guest churches and choirs will be featured each night. Bishop Geoffrey Gibbs Sr. of Philadelphia will speak. The church is at 4591 Calf Pen Bay Road, Pineland
Details: 843-726-6143, email@example.com
A concert and birthday celebration for Gillison Branch Pastor Raymond Hamilton is at 6 p.m. Oct. 1 at St. Stephen AME Church in Hardeeville. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Featured guests include Lonnie Coppock and Perfect Praise, the Annointed Voices, One Accord Gospel Ministry, Brother Gerald Frazier and the Gospel Warriors. A freewill offering will be taken.
Details: 843-726-5977, firstname.lastname@example.org
GREATER PENTECOSTAL TEMPLE
A Victory Revival begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday with recording artist and Pastor Shirley Caesar. The temple is at 5905 South Okatie Highway, Hardeeville.
Details: 843-784-6988, 866-708-3686
ST. PETER CATHOLIC CHURCH
The 52nd annual Bazaar is from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 1. Booths, tents and tables include: white elephant; Kidz World (games for kids); greenhouse; silent auction; gift baskets (theme baskets donated by local individuals and businesses); multiple gift prizes (items donated by local individuals and businesses); food court; books and videos; home-made frozen dinners; Grandma's Pantry; jewelry; and a sweet shop. The church is at 70 Lady's Island Drive, Beaufort.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF HILTON HEAD ISLAND
The youth group will sponsor an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast from 7:30-9:30 a.m. Oct. 1 at Applebee's Restaurant on Hilton Head Island. Cost is $5 and includes bacon, sausage and beverage. Proceeds will offset mission trip expenses.