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Southern Arizona congregation hosts the first drive-in Rosh Hashanah celebration in Jewish history

Rabbi reflects on the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Southern Arizona congregation hosts the first drive-in Rosh Hashanah celebration in Jewish history
Posted at 3:16 PM, Sep 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-20 18:16:59-04

To celebrate the Jewish New Year, one Southern Arizona congregation held "the very first drive-in Rosh Hashanah celebration in Jewish History."

Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the High Holidays. It's a time of reflection, growth new beginnings.

"Jews celebrate it by looking at ourselves," said Congregation Beit Simcha's Rabbi Samuel Cohon. "Seeing how we can make next year a better year than the past year, how we can live to the best that's within us."

The socially-distanced event included lots of music, singing and a light evening service. It also included the blowing of the shofar, which is a signal calling for acting in a way to better the world.

That call to action, was something he says, followed by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was the first Jewish woman on the Supreme Court.

"Ruth Bader Ginsburg meant something more," said Rabbi Cohon. "She managed to do the most important judicial work in the country and some of the most important political work in the country, and to do so respectfully honoring people across the aisle. That's something we need more than ever in this country right now. Her legacy is really in both the ways she made it possible for women to be treated as full human beings in America ... but also the way she understood America is about respectful disagreement."

Rabbi Cohon says his Synagogue, and others around the nation, had been praying for Justice Ginsburg's recovery since learning she was sick.

"Losing her at this moment should bring us to the realization that life is so fragile, and after this very strange year we've all had, it's a reminder it's all in God's hands," said Rabbi Conon. "It's up to us to live our lives in the way that Ruth Bader Ginsburg did, to a very high standard, because that's what we can control. That's what we have the ability to change."

Rosh Hashanah ends this Sunday at sundown, and the Jewish High Holy Days continue with Yom Kippur next Sunday evening.