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Sound the shofar

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Posted: Saturday, October 1, 2011 12:00 pm

By Rose L. Thayer

Killeen Daily Herald

For the first time in at least three years, Fort Hood has its own rabbi for the Jewish high holy days.

After a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan with the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, Chaplain Capt. Moshe Lans, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, and Fort Hood Rabbi, brought the Jewish community together for Rosh Hashanah, or new year that ended Friday. The two-day observance marks the beginning of the high holy days, which end with Yom Kippur, or day of atonement, that starts at sundown Oct. 7.

"I'm eager to build up the community and really get involved," said Lans, who officiates weekly services at the new Spirit of Fort Hood Warrior and Family Chapel Campus.

Before the rabbi's return in August, the post's Jewish community was led by a lay leader provided through the Distinctive Faith Groups program.

Rosh Hashanah celebrates the creation of mankind and on the first night of services, Lans spoke about accepting God as king and what that means. He said God has two roles, the loving father, who forgives, and the king, who delivers judgement.

"There's very little we can do to sever our relationship with God. He aches for us to have a personal relationship with him," Lans said. "It's not if God is willing to accept me back, it's will you accept God back?"

Remembrance

In the service, Lans incorporated the tradition of the shofar, or ram's horn, which represents the remembrance of things that happened before. The shofar specifically represents the moment when Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his son, Isaac. At the last second, a ram appeared, caught in the thicket and Abraham was commanded to use it as a sacrifice in lieu of his son.

"The blowing of the shofar is the people's coronation of their king and is also a call to repent," Lans said.

Wednesday's service was followed by a community meal prepared by Lans' wife, Laurie. She served chicken soup, apples and honey and honey cake, which Lans said makes for a sweet new year.

Following Rosh Hashanah is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, which includes at 25-hour fast. "(Yom Kippur) is a time totally dedicated to mankind returning and dedicating to God," said Lans.

The rabbi estimates that half a percent of Fort Hood's population is Jewish and thinks moving services from West Fort Hood to the new religion might help it grow.

"Everyone is thrilled to be visible and to be easily seen," Lans said. "We've got tremendous support from the garrison and III Corps staff. Now we are getting the word out."

In the upcoming year, Lans plans to offer a full Jewish curriculum.

"The important thing is for soldiers, civilians and family members to be aware of is that there is a vibrant, active Jewish community," he said.

"We exist and we're available."

Contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

Upcoming services

All services planned by Capt. Moshe Lans will be at the Spirit of Fort Hood Warrior and Family Chapel Campus on Tank Destroyer Boulevard at 31st Street.

Oct. 7

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) begins with candle lighting at 6:52 p.m.

Afternoon worship service begins at 6:30 p.m.

Evening worship service (Kol Nidre) begins at 7 p.m.

Oct. 8

Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

Morning worship service begins at 10 a.m.

Yitzkor (Memorial Service) about 12:30 p.m.

Afternoon worship service begins at 5:30 p.m.

Neilah worship service begins at 6:30 p.m.

Final shofar blowing at 7:45 p.m.

Havdallah ceremony (Conclusion of Yom Kippur/Shabbat) at 7:46 p.m.

Fellowship/break the fast meal in the chapel after Havdallah

Oct. 12

Sukkot (Festival of Booths) begins with candle lighting at 6:46 p.m.

Afternoon worship service begins at 6:30 p.m.

Evening worship service begins at 6:46 p.m.

Fellowship/Yom Tov meal in the Sukkah after the conclusion of evening worship service

Oct. 13

Sukkot (Festival of Booths)

Morning worship service begins at 10 a.m.

Fellowship Yom Tov Meal in the Sukkah after the conclusion of morning worship service

Afternoon worship service begins at 7:20 p.m.

Candle lighting at 7:39 p.m.

Evening worship service begins at 7:39 p.m.

Oct. 14

Sukkot (Festival of Booths)

Morning worship service begins at 10 a.m.

Fellowship/Yom Tov meal in the Sukkah after the conclusion of morning worship service

Afternoon worship service beings at 6:20 p.m.

Shabbat (Sabbath) begins at candle lighting at 6:44 p.m.

Evening worship service begins at 6:44 p.m.

Oct. 19

Shmini Atzeret (seventh day of Sukkot) begins with candle lighting at 6:38 p.m.

Afternoon worship service begins at 6:25 p.m.

Evening worship service begins at 6:38 p.m.

Oct. 20

Shmini Atzeret (seventh day of Sukkot)

Morning worship service begins at 10 a.m. to include Yitzkor (Memorial Service)

Afternoon worship service begins at 7:15 p.m.

Simchat Torah begins with candle lighting at 7:31 p.m.

Evening worship service begins at 7:31 p.m.

Simchat Torah dancing during evening worship service

Fellowship/Yom Tov Meal in the chapel after evening worship service

Oct. 21

Simchat Torah

Morning worship service begins at 10 a.m.

Simchat Torah dancing during morning worship service

Fellowship Yom Tov meal in the chapel after morning worship service

Shabbat (Sabbaths) begins with candle lighting at 6:36 p.m.

Afternoon worship service begins at 6:25 p.m.

Evening worship service begins at 6:36 p.m.

For more information about the Jewish community at Fort Hood, call Rabbi Lans at (619) 328-7469 or email mark.lans@us.army.mil.

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