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What is Rosh Hashanah?Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year, meaning “head of theyear” or “first of the year”occurs on the first and second days of Tishrei of the GregorianCalendar, which is between September and Octobercommemorates the anniversary of Creation, when G-d “opensthe Book of Life”“a time to begin introspection, looking back at mistakes of thepast year and planning changes for the upcoming year”it is a time “repentance, preparation for the day of DivineJudgement, and prayer for a fruitful year”
ThemesRosh Hashanah hasfour major themes Jewish New Year Day of Judgement Day of Remembrance Day of Shofar
History of Rosh Hashanahtraces back to Babylonia, as Tishri of Babylonian originmeans “Beginning”biblical origin : “a sacred occasion commemorated withloud blasts” (Lev. 23:23-25)begins with the TaNaKh, where G-d says: “In the seventhmonth, on the first of the month, shall be for you a day ofresting a remembrance of the sounding of the shofar.”festival was known as “Yom Teruah” and later was called“Rosh Hashanah” in Mishnaic times
The Hebrews had 4 differentnew years before theBabylonians exiled the Jews: New Year for Kings, Festivals and Months New Year for Tithing Animals New Year for Trees New Year for YearsWhen they were exiled, theNew Year for Trees andYears were commemorated
it is the day of Creation of theWorld and of AdamG-d takes stock of creationand everything and everyoneinvolved directs the events on everyday of the New Yearaffects the coming year; anydeviations on Rosh Hashanahcan result in major harm forthe remainder of the year
TashlichLiterally means “casting off” in HebrewSymbolically throwing away sins from the previous yearBread is tossed into bodies of water and carried awayBread represents our sins, and the water carries the sinsawayHoping to begin the new year with a fresh startTraditionally performed on the first day of RoshHashanah
ShofarJewish instrument made from a ram’s hornmakes a trumpet-like soundblown on Rosh Hashanahused to announce the start of holidaysblown 100 times within the two days
it is blown four specific ways Teki’ah, Shva’rim, Teruah, Tekiah Gedolahsymbolism : the person blowing the horn, whichis the Tokea’s breath is associated with thebreath of life G-d first breathed life into Adam when humanity was created
What is Yom Kippur?“Day of Atonement” in Jewishmost important Jewish holiday of the year along with RoshHashanahsymbolizes the “Book of Life” being sealedten days after Rosh Hashanahsolemn day of fasting and seeking reconciliation with God“marks the chance for repentance and forgiveness in the eyes of God”only amends for sins against God, not against another person
Sabbath Day : no work can be performed must fast, refraining from eating and drinking for 25 hours beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur and ending after night fall on the day of Yom Kippur children under the age of 9 and women in child birth are not permitted to fastmost of the holiday is spent in the synagogue in prayerwhite is worn to symbolize purity calls to mind the promise that our sins shall be made as white as snow
Yom Kippur is part of the High Holiday, the“high holy” dayssignifies the start of the new year in Septemberit is a time to make amends and make changesfor the new year
special candles are lit on the eve of Yom Kippurall the women in the house above the age of Bar-Mitzvah light the candlesday is spent in the synagogue to replenish one’sself“last chance to change the judgement,demonstrate repentance and make amends”