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The U.S. military’s Jewish community in South Korea will gather Monday to party like it’s 5769 — which it will be, according to the lunar calendar.

The Religious Retreat Center in Seoul will host Jewish High Holy Days services beginning at 6 p.m. with Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.

The Monday service will include prayer, ritual and a festive meal.

"The hopes and aspirations of the season are symbolized by the apple dipped in honey that accompanies holiday meals," said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Avi Weiss, who will lead the services. "At the same time, the jarring wake-up call of 100 blasts on the shofar — the ram’s horn — is a reminder of man’s responsibility to repent."

Morning services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and include the shofar blowing.

On Oct. 9 at 5:45 p.m., services will begin for Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Services will continue the next day and end with a light meal after dark, when observers end their daylong fast.

U.S. Forces Korea has authorized a liberal leave policy for military and civilian personnel to observe the holidays.

Those who want to participate in the meals or stay overnight at the Religious Retreat Center should contact Weiss at, by DSN number at 723-6707 or by commercial phone at 02-7913-6707.

Chabad of Korea is also offering services at the Hamilton Hotel in Seoul. For information, contact Rabbi Osher Litzman at

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