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Sundown marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish calendar year of 5749, and ushers in a 10-day period of self-reflection, penance and prayer for the estimated 700,000 Jews on Long Island and approximately 2.5 million Jews in the metropolitan area.
"This uprising will be on the mind of many rabbis and congregants as they gather to celebrate the new year," said Rabbi Esor Ben-Sorek, president of the Long Island Board of Rabbis, an organization that includes the spiritual leaders of nearly 300 congregations on Long Island. "And I have no doubt that it also will be the subject of many sermons during the course of this holiday."
The national soul-searching and discord, sparked among Israelis - and Jews throughout the world - by the army's harsh treatment of Palestinian dissidents, also are likely to be discussed, said Rabbi Moses A. Birnbaum, associate director of the New York Board of Rabbis.