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Closter Rabbi Offers Unique Rosh Hashanah Services

Adina Lewittes founded Shaar Communities in 2006.
Adina Lewittes founded Shaar Communities in 2006. Photo Credit: Facebook

CLOSTER, N.J. — A Closter rabbi is offering an innovative approach to the high holidays.

Adina Lewittes of Sha'ar Communities founded in 2006 has a music-filled service set for the first day of Rosh Hashanah in New Milford.

The second day will be observed at the Alpine Boat basin "in a setting that celebrates the beauty and wonder of nature as source of rebirth and renewal," Lewittes told Daily Voice.

"We put down the prayer book and lift up our voices in song, our souls in meditation, reflection, and story."

Hearing the blasts of the shofar — an ancient musical horn made of ram's horn for Jewish religious purposes — is meant to awaken the community to opportunities and responsibilities for reflection, repentance and renewal, the rabbi explained.

The presence of others in an informal devotional space is a reminder to be in fellowship with others and nature "as we consider our life's meaning and purpose," she added.

"It’s really a very special, unusual and compelling event," Lewittes said of the service, now in its third year.

"We get lots of people who are interested in doing something different on the second day of the holiday, something of deep relevance and resonance that touches different parts of them and invites deeper contemplation and personal introspection."

All are welcome, though space is limited. Call or email Lisa Kasdan at 201-281-4988 and shaarholidays@gmail.com to reserve seats.

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