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‘Super heroes’ kick off new year

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Aysa Cains borrowed a black jacket from her mom and grabbed a pair of sweats and boots from her own closet to devise a makeshift and demure version of a Catwoman costume.

Dressing up like the DC Comics character was the Fairland Middle School student contribution to Thursday afternoon’s children’s service at B’nai Sholom to mark Rosh Hashanah or the New Year in the Jewish calendar. The first day of this year — 5771 — began on sundown Wednesday and is the first of the 10 High Holy Days of the faith that will conclude with Yom Kippur or the day of atonement next Friday.

This year’s play focused on superheroes like Aysa’s character doing battle with the forces of evil.

“We are trying to help the kids better understand the meaning of Rosh Hashanah,” Aysa said. “It is an important day in the Jewish faith.”

This was the second year for the congregation’s youth group to put on a play for the children’s service to highlight aspects of this religious period.

“This is more for the kids,” Rabbi David Wucher said. “It is an old tradition usually done in the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah.”

The holiday celebrates the beginning of the world is observed by all denominations within the Jewish religion.

“God created the world and we worship God as the creator and we are celebrating life,” Wucher said.

The service ended with the blowing of the shofar or a hollowed out ram’s horn played on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Since the instrument has no keys, the various notes from the shofar come exclusively from the player changing the shape of his mouth, in much the same way as a bugle is played.

After the service the congregation walked down to Ritter Park where they partook of a Tashlikh a service for the casting away of sins, done symbolically by throwing bread crumbs into the water below. The service is rooted in the book of Micah that states “You will cast all your sins into the depths of the sea.”

“It is like a fresh start,” Aysa said. “It’s getting a second chance to be a better person.”