Learning About the High Holy Days

Yesterday school was closed in observance of Yom Kippur.  This morning in our all school Friday assembly, we were treated to a visit from Rabbi Roy Feldman who described the High Holy Days to us in great detail and offered the community an inspiring message. 

The start of a new academic year is a busy time for St. Bernard’s boys.  This morning, we learned that this month is particularly eventful for many families within our New York City community.  Rabbi Feldman described the events occurring in Tishri, the first month of the Jewish calendar.  Both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, holidays known as the High Holidays, are the most important holidays of the Jewish year.  Rosh Hashanah is the new year and Rabbi Feldman demonstrated the blasts of the shofar (a ram’s horn trumpet) used during celebration.  Yom Kippur is a day of atonement dedicated to fasting and repenting.  Rabbi Feldman prayed with his congregation on Yom Kippur from 9:00 a.m. until nightfall.  We are grateful he was able to make time for St. Bernard’s after such a day!  

Rabbi Feldman is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Jewish History and articulately explained the rich traditions of the Jewish faith.  One of the boys asked how these traditions mix with modern society and Rabbi Feldman imparted on us the timelessness of reflection and atonement.  He also discussed the importance of asking for and giving forgiveness.  No one is perfect all the time, he said.  How true.

The boys had tons of thoughtful questions for Rabbi Feldman and we thank him for taking the time to speak with us this morning.  Rabbi Feldman recently moved to the Upper East Side where he is the Associate Rabbi at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun.  So we hope he will return to St. B’s soon.