ST. LOUIS – St. Louis area Chabad Centers will be hosting outdoor, socially distant services called ‘Rosh Hashanah in the Park’ at multiple sites throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area.
The High Holy Days come as COVID-19 cases continue to worry some residents about in-person services.
The 30-minute, outdoor services will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 7 in Creve Coeur, University City, the Central West End, Chesterfield, St. Charles County, and in the Washington University area, and will be hosted by the five affiliate Chabad Centers serving each respective area.
“It’s a joyous day because of that confidence and that hope we have that the next year will be better than this one,” said Rabbi Yosef Landa, Chabad of Greater St. Louis Regional Director.
The high holiday of Rosh Hashanah is marked with prayer, ceremony, and food.
“People are busy and they’re not willing to give all that time to sit in the synagogue for three hours and whatever,” said Rabbi Landa, “so we are there for those people as well.”
Across St. Louis, nine different services will take place.
Thirty minutes each, they’ll include all the important parts like the ceremony near water to wash and of course the sounding of the shofar.
“It’s like sounding an alarm, a very piercing sound, it kind of wakes us up, asking ourselves how are we doing, it’s time to take stock,” said Rabbi Landa.
Last year, 800 people attended. They’re expecting more this time around.
“We were totally fascinated by the eagerness of which people embrace this last year,” said Rabbi Landa, “and by people’s comments and reservations coming in, it looks like it will be twice that.”
The ceremony will also include the Tashlich, prayers by a body of water
“Water is a sign of blessing, fish multiply is also is a sign of blessing, so it’s for the new year. It’s symbolic of the blessings we’re hoping for.”
Rabbi Landa hopes this year’s services will spark hope after a dark year.
“Everybody come, everybody who identifies and wants to do Rosh Hashanah in a substantive way, we’re here for you,” said Landa.
To find a service in your area, head over to ShowMeChabad.com/HighHolidays.