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Staying Connected With The Jewish High Holidays

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

Hello, hello! And Happy New Year!!

Yes, that’s right. The Jewish High Holidays are here and it’s not too late to celebrate!! 

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are incredibly important holidays for the Jewish community. These holidays take place during the late summer/early fall and they celebrate the new year in the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah is the New Year and Yom Kippur is the holiday that follows usually a week later. Yom Kippur is celebrated to ask for forgiveness of our own wrongdoings as well as our fellow human beings, and start the year anew! It is a time for starting over and hitting the reset button, which is very much needed in the fall!

However, starting fresh is often difficult on college campuses. Sometimes students, like myself, find it difficult to carve out time to go to the Jewish organization(s) on campus for services or to even just eat a meal with the community. Sometimes it can be scary and overwhelming. Thankfully, there are ways to incorporate some of the high holidays in your home!

For instance, for Rosh Hashanah, a big symbol of the new year is apples paired with honey, two things people often have in their homes! Enjoy some apples and honey, and wish yourself a sweet new year. You can also reach out to Jewish friends and wish them a new year, the same way you would with the “regular” new year! 

However, if you find yourself able to go to organizations, yay! Celebrate with others and socialize with fellow Jewish people. The purpose of Rosh Hashanah is to celebrate and have fun! Make some noise like the shofar does!

Now for Yom Kippur. This one is tougher because this is the more “serious” holiday. If you’re able, go to organizations for their services and events! If not, no worries. Take some time to do some self-reflection on the past year and how you could’ve been kinder, more patient, more understanding, more responsive, etc. Whatever you feel like you could’ve been better with! This can be related to how you treat yourself, treat others, or treat the world. Repent for the ways you didn’t live up to who you could’ve been; “confess” the things you did that you aren’t proud of. This is the time to be REAL with yourself! If you need further guidance, the 613 commandments are a great way to help figure out ways a person can be better! Do not stress if this isn’t your thing, you can simply self-reflect and hope to do better in the upcoming year.

Hit refresh and be whoever you want to be. Embody the person you want to be and go forward! I wish you a sweet new year and I hope you find peace in the new year. L’Shana Tovah! (Happy Holidays)

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Sarah Kahn

Illinois '25

My name is Sarah Kahn and I am a Junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign! I am studying Information Sciences, along with pre-med. I love to play tennis, sing, listen to music, and spend time with my friends! I also love to paint and be creative in a multitude of outlets :) I really love all things related to self-care, wellbeing, and makeup! I have always been interested in these things and prioritized them into my daily routine.