New Yorkers across the city celebrated the first day of Rosh Hashana Tuesday, one week after the tragic terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
NY1's Taina Hernandez reports:
Along with marking the one-week anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Tuesday also marked the first day of the Jewish New Year.
"I began each of the services with a brief story," said Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue on the Upper West Side, "the moral of which is simple: that in the face of tragedy one has to grab for life, one has to say lahiem."
Lahiem means, "to life."
Those who attended synagogue Tuesday said the words spoken during the services meant much more than they did in the past.
"Today's service is always very meaningful because we get to see an added dimension of good will and how much it means to us during difficult times," said one man who attended services at the Stephen Wise synagogue.
All across the city, Rosh Hashanah services drew large numbers of congregants.
"It was very touching and there were a lot more people here this year than ever before, especially young adults which is very nice to see," said one woman who attended the service.
Said Rabbi Bretton-Granatoor: "Rosh Hashanah begins the new year but we have ten days with which we examine what we've done in the last year. We try to ready ourselves for Yom Kippur."
Even in uncertain times, the rituals that accompany this day remain the same - like eating apples dipped in honey, a symbol of a sweet new year.
The service also includes a special ceremony where breadcrumbs are thrown into water. The ceremony is called Tashlique, which means "to cast away."
"The crumbs represent the things that weigh us down, the things we're upset about," the rabbi said. "In order to enter into this new year, we want to try and symbolically cast them away."
The message here is universal.
"A new year means we let go of the sins of the past," said one woman. "I'm not saying we're forgiving but we let go so we're ready to move on."