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Local synagogue prepares for Rosh Hashanah, hosts 'Shofar Factory'

Attendees and members of the community came together for the Shofar Factory

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Rosh Hashanah begins on Sept. 25, marking the Jewish New Year and the beginning of several Hebrew holidays that will be celebrated around the world - and here in the Midlands.

In preparation, around 100 members of The Chabad - Aleph House came together to create a type of ancient musical horn that will be used for some of the observances. 

"A shofar, if you are familiar, is a horn used on Rosh Hashanah, used in Jewish communities all across the globe, and they blow the shofar - they blow it on Rosh Hashanah - and sometimes preceding as, the well, the month before," said Rabbi Levi Marrus. 

The horn comes from animals like a ram. 

"It cannot be harmed or ripped out of an animal when it's alive. The shofar is very interesting and symbolic," he added. "If you notice the shofar, it's curved upwards. It's not straight - we do not do the straight shofar."  

He said it needs to be curved upwards.

"That is letting us know it's not about me, life is not only about me. It's a time for introspection," Rabbi Levi said.

RELATED: No, not everyone celebrates the start of the new year on Jan. 1

Miriam Rozin, who has attended the synagogue her whole life, said it provides a significant religious purpose for the community. 

"The idea is we're blowing the shofar as a wake-up call to [say] God is there for us, God has always been there for us," Rozin said. "To really say, 'Guys, wake up, he's coming, this is our chance. You want to meet the King, this is our chance.' But the king isn't only here on one day, he is here forever." 

RELATED: The Jewish High Holy Days: A look at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

Rabbi Levi said he hopes the hands-on experience that Alpha Epsilon Pi helped provide will educate the children. 

"Kids are part of sanding; so, the little tiny sandpapers they are going to do, and then we shellac it and give it a nice finish," he said. "Put their name and initials, and then they bring it home."

Daniel Weaver from Alpha Epsilon Pi, who volunteered, hopes he and his brothers have helped. 

"I hope that people become more open-minded and see that we're just giving back and helping to spread some joy.," Weaver said.

For those interested in learning more information about The Chabad - Aleph House, visit the synagogue's website

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