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Fort Huachuca Chaplain Maj. Yan Xiong, left, and Rabbi Benzion Shemtov are in the Chabad of Sierra Vista facility on Fry Boulevard earlier this week. Chabad of Sierra Vista and Rabbi Shemtov will sound the Shofar during morning services on Monday and Tuesday in the Post Main Chapel as the Jewish New Year commences beginning this weekend. Shemtov will be joined by Chaplains Cap. Pedro Acosta and Maj. Yan Xiong as they walk from Sierra Vista to the Post Main Chapel before next week’s Jewish services on Fort Huachuca.

In a fast-paced world, with so many unimaginable advancements made, it is easy to lose sight of the initial purpose of mankind. Our struggles and anxiety to constantly move forward, to keep up with our friends, neighbors, co-workers can be all-consuming, sometimes creating a shift in our long-term goals.

When do we step back? When do we ask ourselves the hard questions such as “What have I done?” and “Where am I heading?”

The month before the Jewish New Year is dedicated to looking back on the past year. We concentrate on areas of commitment where we fell short. We fine-tune our actions. This allows us to transform our past and refocus our ambitions. We need to ask ourselves, “What have I done?”, before we can determine the direction in which we want to go. Then we can properly take advantage of the precious and holy moments of Rosh Hashana, the beginning of the new year, to straighten ourselves out.

One of the oldest customs associated with this holiday is the blowing of the Shofar (a ram’s horn). The sounds from a ram’s horn call out and remind us that, on this day, God judges every individual for the upcoming year. It is also a symbol of the ram that our forefather Abraham sacrificed in place of his son Isaac. And just as Isaac was spared, we ask to be saved from any harsh decrees.

As we gear up for the Jewish New Year, Chabad of Sierra Vista will be providing the opportunity for all to hear the sounds of the Shofar.

During morning services — Monday, Sept. 30, and Tuesday, Oct. 1 — 11:30 a.m.

See JewishSierraVista.com/calendar for a full schedule.

In connection with our continued relationship with the Garrison Religious Department at Ft Huachuca, we will be providing a special Shofar blowing service at the Main Post Chapel Activities Room on Tuesday, October 1st at 5pm.

For me, this Shofar blowing is a highlight of my year. Being able to provide something this meaningful, a connection to our heritage, for our service members whom are not with family is a special privilege for me and our community. As an observant religious Jew, I refrain from using electronics over the holiday which means I will be walking to Post as I have for the past two years.

I have already witnessed the strong impact doing this walk has had on teaching about the Jewish faith. I was recently contacted by someone in Massachusetts who had learned of last year’s walk and helped provide encouragement to continue this tradition.

We would like to publicly thank the chaplains who volunteered to walk along, Tony Lamas of Safeway for providing refreshments and the Garrison Office for the space to do the service.

Submitted by Rabbi Benzion Shemtov, spiritual leader and rabbi of Chabad of Sierra Vista

To contact us, visit JewishSierraVista.com

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