NORTHBROOK, Ill. (WLS) -- Rabbi Meir Moscowitz with Lubavitch Chabad demonstrated the shofar, an ancient musical instrument made from a ram's horn.
It is blown in synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and at the end of Yom Kippur 10 days from Friday. It is one of the central symbols of the Jewish holiday, which happens to begin on the Jewish Sabbath this year.
"The shofar is our calling out to God and saying, 'God, this is a new year. We want to connect with you. We want that relationship,'" Moscowitz said.
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, and it begins a month of important Jewish Holy days. Many Jewish people observe it at their synagogues starting Friday evening and, by eating sweets. It is symbolic of the beginning of what they pray will be a sweet year. Many in the congregation gathered during the week to assemble these packages for distribution Friday.
"This month and this day directs the year to come. So, it's a time of reflection, a time of reconnecting with God," Moscowitz said.
Jewish people believe Rosh Hashanah celebrates the birth of mankind. It is a time to reflect and pray for forgiveness for sins of the past year. According to the Jewish calendar, it usually falls in September or October. This year, it also begins on the Friday evening, the Jewish Sabbath. They also light candles symbolizing light and peace in the home.
"It reminds us of our purpose in this world as it relates to our relationship with our creator," Moscowitz said.
One of the central themes of Rosh Hashanah is prayer. And, they have a 320-page prayer book for just the two days beginning at sundown Friday night.