Rosh Hashanah begins

courtesy/bangitout.com

courtesy/bangitout.com

I told my editor about my blog a few months back and he presented a challenge to me. He suggested that I also take the time to write about holidays and observances by other groups of people (whether that be religious or by country it didn’t matter). I thought that was a great idea. As with my theme last month, it’s certainly a great way to educate myself and perhaps to spread the word.

That’s what I’m doing this month. It’s a bit of an undefined theme and some of that is because there’s lots of topics I wanted to write about. This is a good way to start… I hope.

Tonight marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, a festival meaning “Head of the Year.” It’s observed for two days and observes the beginning of the new year. It’s the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve. According to one site I came across, there are two beginnings to the new year, Nissan and Tishrei. They reflect the dual nature of the Jewish calendar – lunar and solar, respectively. Nissan is the month of the Exodus from Egypt and Tishrei is the month of creation.

One website I visited states the central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the shofar, ram’s horn. This represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their king. The shofar is significant in multiple ways, including it being a call to repentance. Rosh Hashanah is the start of the “Ten Days of Repentance.” Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, is at the end of those ten days.

There are several observances during this two-day holiday. Among them is eating a piece of apple dipped in honey. It’s symbolic of the desire for a sweet year. There are more but I dare not do anything that may be incorrect and in my naivete offend anyone when the whole purpose is to be respectful.

I already know twice as much about the Jewish religion as I did before. It seems pretty amazing to me and I’m Catholic. I’m not interested in switching religions, but this certainly seems like a beautiful religious observance. Happy Rosh Hashanah and wishing you all a very sweet year!

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