CHICAGO — For Jews seeking a brief but potentially impactful way to celebrate the end of the first day of year 5778, a Rosh Hashana "slacker service" will last just 15 minutes and include stops at the Bloomingdale Trail and Humboldt Park lagoon.
Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown on Wednesday.
Scheduled for 5:30 to 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, the "Shofar on The 606" service will take place on the elevated Bloomingdale Trail at 1801 N. California Ave., according to Rabbi Yosef and Sara Moscowitz.
Sara Moscowitz said that the shofar service drew more than 150 people last year, the first time that it was held on the Bloomingdale Trail.
The idea for the free service was sparked by a desire to come up with new and creative ways to bring Jews together.
"Though shul is the ideal place for a Jew to be on Rosh Hashana, in this fast-paced world, it doesn't always happen. The 606 represents the walkway of people coming and going. As such, we want to make the primary mitzvah of the day, shofar-blowing, easily accessible to every Jew that moves," Yosef Moscowitz previously said.
After the blowing of a ram's horn, or shofar, and a sermon and story from Yosef Moscowitz — director of the Living Room at 1630 N. Milwaukee Ave. and executive director of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois — the participants will walk to the nearby Humboldt Park lagoon.
The tashlich ritual usually includes the tossing of bread crumbs to the fish and the shaking out of one's clothes to try and repent for the sins of the previous year.
According to chabad.org, the tashlich prayer, recited at the banks of a river, lake or sea, where there is fish, has "another significance in arousing in us thoughts of repentance" by recognizing the insecurity of fishes’ life, and the danger of fish to fall for bait, or be caught in the fisherman’s net — a reminder that human lives are also full of pitfalls and temptations.
No tickets or membership is required to participate; however, donations are "accepted and appreciated," according to Moscowitz. For more info, visit the Bucktown Wicker Park Chabad's website.