FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. – The community welcomed Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, by attending a traditional Tashlich ceremony hosted by the Religious Support Office team and Rabbi Benzion Shemtov on Sept. 27 at Lakeside Pavilion.
The New Year celebration started at the Buffalo Soldier Chapel sanctuary followed by Rabbi Shemtov and the RSO team leading a community walk to the Lakeside Pavilion.
Shemtov enacted the central mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah reading prayers according to the Torah and blowing the shofar, a trumpet made from a kosher animal horn, during the prayer service.
“The sound of the shofar is very plain, a child can form the sound,” Shemtov said. “It is the sound of a cry. We are trying to reach out to God with a simple sound. It is not our philosophy or knowledge. The sound is pure.”
What Rosh Hashanah represents is “revising your chapter of the book of which you are in control, you are renewing your energy," Shemtov said. “You are renewing your commitment.”
If you look at what is meaningful to you, the quest to obtain or keep it in your life takes commitment, resolve, effort and endurance. In short, you cannot just show up to a marathon without training, he explained.
“Rosh Hashanah is marathon day,” Shemtov emphasized.
“We are attentive to the upcoming day and have put in and will continue spiritual work throughout the coming year.”
Right before sunset, Shemtov performed the Tashlich including prayer, blessing the kosher bread and moving the audience to the water’s edge where they symbolically cast-off sins by throwing breadcrumbs into water.
“This is the first Rosh Hashanah Rabbi Shemtov has performed the Tashlich service here,” said Morgana Biddix, religious support operations manager, Religious Support Office.
Biddix and Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Shay Worthy, garrison chaplain, distributed bags of kosher food, grape juice and traditional treats, while Shemtov explains the fish and the sea as symbols.
“A fish in water is surrounded by its life source,” he said noting that if removed from water, the fish will die.
“Just like a fish is pure and connected to its life source, we are reminded our life source is God,” Shemtov explained.
“When we cast away our sins into the water it serves as a reminder of the spiritual truth the fish represents,” he said.
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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 946 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, key components to the national defense mission.
Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with a rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.
We are the Army’s Home. Learn more at https://home.army.mil/huachuca/.