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Georgetown's Temple B'Nai Chaim To Mark High Holy Days With New Prayer Book

Temple B'nai Chaim  in Georgetown will be piloting a newly revised prayer book during this fall's High Holy Days.
Temple B'nai Chaim in Georgetown will be piloting a newly revised prayer book during this fall's High Holy Days. Photo Credit: Contributed

WILTON, Conn. -- Temple B’nai Chaim will be debuting a new prayer book during this fall’s High Holy Day services, the Georgetown synagogue said.

The overhauled text – titled Mishkan HaNefesh in Hebrew, or “Sanctuary of the Soul” – includes gender neutral blessings and replaces the words “bride and groom” with couple to acknowledge same-sex unions, the temple said.

The new version of American Judaism’s most popular prayer book was released by the Reform Movement last spring. It is said to be the first such revision in 40 years.

According to temple officials, the text includes updated translations, and essays and poetry by authors such as Pablo Neruda, Langston Hughes and Henry David Thoreau interwoven with the Old Testament.

The High Holy Days -- the 10 days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur -- are the holiest in the Jewish calendar, the temple said.

Rosh Hashanah, a joyous holiday that begins Sept. 13, starts the Jewish year. It allows both communities and individuals to consider the missteps made in the past and look forward to the possibilities of the upcoming year, the temple said.

On Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement, Jewish people will often fast as they focus on their commitment to better themselves and grow spiritually, the temple said.

More than 200 families are expected to participate in High Holy Day services at the synagogue on 82 Portland Ave.

Overflow parking will be located at Branchville Elementary School, 40 Florida Road, Ridgefield. Continuous bus service to the temple will be available. The temple is asking attendees to arrive at least 25 minutes early to accommodate the special parking arrangements.

For a schedule of services and ticket information visit the temple’s website .

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