The High Holy Days are a time of reflection and introspective for people of the Jewish faith.
The 10-day period begins with Rosh Hashanah, which falls on Sept. 4 this year, and ends with Yom Kippur on Sept. 14.
It is a time to evaluate one's life and consider ways to improve it and make amends.
It is a time for repairing relationships with each other and to ask forgiveness from God, said Rabbi Josh Wohl of Agudath Achim Synagogue.
"How can we ask God to forgive us if we won't forgive our fellow man," he asked.
Wohl noted that Abraham and Isaac's relationship may have been damaged by a lack of forgiveness.
"After Abraham nearly sacrifices his son, they never speak again in the Bible," Wohl said. "Their relationship ceases to exist in the Bible."
"Abraham never asked Isaac for forgiveness," he said.
"Forgiveness is essential to love," Wohl said. The notion from the movie 1970 "Love Story" that "love means you never have to say your sorry" is incorrect.
Wohl added that forgiveness does not condone the act, but the person who has been offended no longer feels hatred or a desire for revenge in his or her soul.
He said he once counseled a woman who had been divorced for many years, yet she still harbored ill feelings toward her former spouse. He said being consumed with hatred can make a person bitter.
"People don't want to be around you," he said.
But when a person forgives another, it's a letting go that brings freedom to the soul, Wohl said.
Rabbi Audrey Korotkin of Temple Beth Israel said forgiveness does not happen automatically.
"You have to work for it," she said.
Korotkin said the person who committed the wrongful act has to turn his or her life around.
"You can't sin and atone and sin and atone. You have to really mean it," she said. "Repentance has to be sincere. The behavior has to change."
"The High Holy Days provide an opportunity to start on the path to forgiveness. Rosh Hashanah opens the door. You have to go through that door, take that path toward a different way of behaving," Korotkin said.
Services for the High Holy Days are as follows:
Agudath Achim Synagogue
Rosh Hashanah - 7:15 p.m. Wednesday; 9:30 a.m. Thursday with Tashlich at 4 p.m. at the Hollidaysburg Area YMCA; 9:30 a.m. Sept. 6 and 9:30 a.m. Sept. 7.
Yom Kippur - 9:30 a.m., 3:15 (forum), 5:55 and 8 p.m. (break the fast) Sept. 14.
Temple Beth Israel
Rosh Hashanah - 8 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. Thursday.
Yom Kippur - 8 p.m. Sept. 13; 10 a.m., 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m. (memorial service) and 5:15 p.m. Sept. 14.
Chabad Lubavitch Jewish Center of Greater Altoona
Rosh Hashanah - 10 a.m. Thursday and Sept. 6, shofar blowing, services.
Yom Kippur - 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, (Kol Nidrei service) and 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 14.