Tishrei 1-2, 5780
September 30 - October 1, 2019
Begins 18 minutes before sundown, Sunday Sep. 29
Ends 72 minutes after sundown, Tuesday Oct. 1
I Samuel 1:1 - 2:10
The festival of Rosh Hashanah (the name means "Head of the Year") is observed on Tishrei 1 and 2, the first and second days of the Jewish year. It's the anniversary of the creation of the first man and woman.
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 holiday is instituted in Leviticus 23:24-25.
The Jewish 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. It emphasizes G‑d's special relationship with humanity: We depend upon G‑d as our creator and sustainer, and G‑d depends upon us to make His presence known and felt in the world.
One of the most important observances of this holiday is hearing the sounding of the shofar (ram's horn) in the synagogue. The cry of the shofar is a call to repentance; as Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man's first sin and the first of the "Ten Days of Repentance" which culminate in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). A total of 100 notes are sounded over the course of the holiday service.
No work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah (Leviticus 23:24-25, Numbers 29:1) and much of the day is spent in the synagogue praying.
It's traditional during this holiday to eat apples dipped in honey, among other sweet foods, which represent our wish for a sweet new year.
Tashlikh - Remembering G-d's Promise
Another observance of the holiday is "Tashlikh" (lit. "casting off"). It begins with the assembling of the local synagogue at a body of water (a lake, river or stream, usually which contains fish). There is a short collective prayer service next to the water.
We then fill our pockets with small pieces of bread or small stones to cast into the water.
Next we move away from each other along the shore, standing alone with G-d, and have a time of silent introspection and prayer, before empty our pockets into the flowing water, whose symbolism reminds us that G-d grants us forgiveness and casts off our sins when we repent.
This practice is a long-standing custom based upon the verse, "And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:19)
At this time of year, it's traditional to greet one another with the words "L'shanah tovah" (for a good year). Which is a shortening of "L'shanah tovah tikateiv v'tei'chateim" (May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year).
Rosh Hashanah (lit. "Head of the Year") is known in the Bible as "Yom Teruah" (lit. "the Day of the Awakening Blast"). It falls on the 1st of Tishrei in the Hebrew calendar, which is based upon the lunar cycle rather than the solar cycle. It's the anniversary of the day on which man was created, the sixth day of creation. This day begins the 10 Days of Awe, culminating with Yom Kippur ("The Day of Atonement"). On this holiday, we look back to the binding of Isaac upon the altar by his father Abraham, in obedience to the command of G-d. The many themes of repentance, redemption, renewal and rebirth are all present at this season.
Series: The Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith
Lesson: 8 of 16
Length: 1 hr, 27 min
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