It’s that time of the year again, the Jewish high holidays are upon us. Wednesday night is Rosh Hashanah. Here’s is a little write up about the holiday, condensed and edited from Wikipedia:
Rosh Hashanah marks the start of a new year in the Hebrew calendar. Jews believe Rosh Hashanah represents either figuratively or literally the creation of the World, or Universe. However, according to one view in the Talmud Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of man, which entails that five days earlier, was the first day of creation of the Universe.
The Mishnah, the core text of Judaism’s oral Torah, contains the first known reference to Rosh Hashanah as the “day of judgment.” In the Talmud it states that three books of account are opened on Rosh Hashanah, wherein the fate of the wicked, the righteous, and those of an intermediate class are recorded. The names of the righteous are immediately inscribed in the book of life, and they are sealed “to live.” The middle class are allowed a respite of ten days, until Yom Kippur, to repent and become righteous; the wicked are “blotted out of the book of the living forever.”
In Jewish liturgy Rosh Hashanah is described as “the day of judgment” and “the day of remembrance”. Some midrashic descriptions depict God as sitting upon a throne, while books containing the deeds of all humanity are opened for review, and each person passing in front of Him for evaluation of his or her deeds.
The Talmud provides three central ideas behind the day:
“The Holy One said, ‘on Rosh Hashanah recite before Me [verses of] Sovereignty, Remembrance, and Shofar (horn) blasts. Sovereignty so that you should make Me your King; Remembrance so that your remembrance should rise up before Me. And through what? Through the Shofar (horn) This is reflected in the prayers composed by the classical rabbinic sages for Rosh Hashanah where the theme of the prayers is the strongest theme is the “coronation” of God as King of the universe in preparation for the acceptance of judgments that will follow on that day, symbolized as “written” into a Divine book of judgments, that then hang in the balance for ten days waiting for all to repent, then they will be “sealed” on Yom Kippur. The assumption is that everyone was sealed for life and therefore the next festival is Sukkot (Tabernacles) that is referred to as “the time of our joy”.
On Rosh Hashanah Jews do various things that symbolize sweetness and a bright future. Among the many customs it is customary to dip some sliced raw apples into some honey to symbolize our confidence of an upcoming sweet year.
To end the post on a light note, following are a couple of videos I found that are cute:
To all our readers who celebrate Rosh Hashanah we wish you a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and Peaceful new year.
L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu! – ???? ???? ?????