Shana Tova Umetukah!! – A Good and Sweet Year!
Happy New Year? Well not exactly, its never that simple when you are a Jew! Rosh Hashana is not the first day of the Jewish calendar year – Rosh Hashana is much more than that. Here is some help for my Jewish and Non Jewish friends on the importance of the day and the Asseret Yemei Teshuva – 10 Days of Repentance.
To everyone, my blessings for a year of peace, health and prosperity. L’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem – May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year. Baruch Hashem.
Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “head of the year” or “first of the year.” Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. This name is somewhat deceptive, because there is little similarity between Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the year, and the American midnight drinking bash and daytime football game.
There is, however, one important similarity between the Jewish New Year and the American one: Many Americans use the New Year as a time to plan a better life, making “resolutions.” Likewise, 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. More on this concept at Days of Awe.
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 holiday is instituted in Leviticus 23:24-25.
The shofar (rams horn) was sounded at Mt Sinai calling all Jews to witness – The blast of a shofar emanating from the thick cloud on Mount Sinai made the Israelites tremble in awe (Exodus 19, 20). The shofar will not be sounded this year on Rosh Hashana as it falls on the Sabbath. So here is a vid of Cantor Warshawsky, who was the Cantor at my shul in Baltimore blowing the shofar – like few others can!