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Hashanah, Rosh Hashanah

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612387.  Sun Sep 13, 2009 5:27 pm Reply with quote

(Apologies for the thread title, but anything for an initial H.)

Rosh Hashanah, meaning literally "head of the year" occurs on the first and second days of the seventh Hebrew month - Tishri (which fall on the 19th and 20th of September this year), this is generally considered to be Jewish New Year. The festival was instituted in Leviticus 16:24, "In the seventh month, on the first of the month, there shall be a sabbath for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation."

You'll notice that the Torah speaks of Rosh Hashanah as occurring on the first day of the seventh month, and you may know that the first month of the Jewish calendar is Nissan, occurring in March and April. Why does the Jewish "New Year" occur in Tishri, the seventh month? Simply, Judaism has several different "new years" a concept which may seem strange at first, but think of January 1st, April 5th or September 21st (respectively the Gregorian calendar's new year, the start of the financial year, and the start of - my - academic year).

In Judaism, Nissan 1 is the new year for the purpose of counting the reign of kings and months on the calendar and for determining jubilee and sabbatical years. Elul 1 (usually in August) is the new year for the tithing of animals, and Shevat 15 (in February) is the new year for trees (determining when first fruits can be eaten, etc.). So four in all.

For Jews, this New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year. The name "Rosh Hashanah" is not used in the Bible to discuss this holiday. The Bible refers to the holiday as Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar).

The common greeting at this time is L'shanah tovah meaning "for a good year". This is a shortening of L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem* which means "may you be inscribed and sealed for a good year" as tradition states that our record for the preceding year is entered in God's books on Rosh Hashanah.

* When speaking to a man. When speaking to a woman it's L'shanah tovah tikatevi v'taihatemi, thought I'd better edit and pop that in.

612444.  Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:12 pm Reply with quote

Actually, for me it's a time to eat apples with honey.
Also this year it occurs one day after my birthday (the eve does).

612450.  Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:52 pm Reply with quote

And fair enough, I will be too, but that's less to do with Talmudic authority than what I wrote!

612506.  Mon Sep 14, 2009 4:39 am Reply with quote

No, it's to do with my family's glorification of all things gastronomical. ;)

Ion Zone
612563.  Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:30 am Reply with quote

I think I saw a Jewish New Year poster in town. It wasn't Exhillo though.[/badpun]


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