Jewish community celebrates Rosh Hashanah at Panzer

Rabbi (Lt. Col) Yoni Zagdanski,sounds the shofar, a horn that calls people to self-judgment, self-improvement and atonement, Sept. 30. 

Story and photo by Rick Scavetta
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

Rabbi (Lt. Col) Yoni Zagdanski, an Army Reserve chaplain from the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade, led the High Holiday services recently at Panzer Kaserne.

The services spanned two days. On Sept. 29, they held the Erev Rosh Hashanah with a potluck supper. The next morning, Sept. 30, they gathered in the Jewish prayer room at the Panzer Chapel.

During the service, Zagdanski shared a story of his own reflection on self-improvement. At a relative’s wedding recently, he felt bad that he was not mentioned in blessings said during the ceremony when others were. Everyone went on celebrating and dancing, yet Zagdanski felt rejected and stepped outside.

“That desire for honor is not a good trait,” Zagdanski said. “I realize this is what I need to work on–just humble myself.”

After prayers, Zagdanski sounded the shofar, a horn that calls people to self-judgment, self-improvement and atonement.

There are several Jewish holidays during October: Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Oct. 8. Services for Yom Kippur are Oct. 8 and Oct. 9. The “day of atonement,” Yom Kippur includes a full day of fasting and praying.

Sukkot, a weeklong festival that begins Oct. 13, commemorates the Israelites’ 40-year journey through the wilderness. A Sukkot prayer and potluck lunch will be held Oct. 20. For more information on the Stuttgart Jewish Military Community’s activities, send an email.