October 03, 2005


ROSH HASHANAH
The Jewish High Holidays (or High Holy Days), the 10 days starting with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur, are known as the Days of Awe or the Days of Repentance. This is an introspective time, when Jews consider the sins of the previous year and repent before Yom Kippur. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts today at sunset and is the beginning of the new year on the Hebrew calendar. While it is a festive holiday (one common celebration is a treat of apples dipped in honey "for a sweet New Year"), no work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah. Observant Jews spend the day at synagogue, attending religious services and contemplating the past and upcoming year. Tradition holds that on Rosh Hashanah, God makes inscriptions in the Book of Life for the coming year. The origin of Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year, is Biblical (Lev. 23:23-25): "a sacred occasion commemorated with loud blasts (of the Shofar, the ram's horn)." The Bible refers to the holiday as Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the Shofar) and Yom Zikaron Teruah (the day of remembering the sounding of the Shofar). HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR JEWISH FRIENDS!

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