Rosh Hashanah

A shofar made from a ram's horn is traditional...

A shofar made from a ram's horn is traditionally blown in observance of Rosh Hashanah.


Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins today (September 28, 2011) at sundown. I like holidays, so even though I do not personally celebrate Rosh Hashanah, I like to acknowledge it all the same.

So for all those who don’t know what Rosh Hashanah is, here’s a brief introduction (courtesy of

‘Rosh Hashanah literally means “Head of the Year” in Hebrew. It falls in the month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. The reason for this is because the Hebrew calendar begins with the month of Nissan (when it’s believed the Jews were freed from slavery in Egypt) but the month of Tishrei is believed to be the month in which God created the world. Hence, another way to think about Rosh Hashanah is as the birthday of the world.

Rosh Hashanah is observed on the first two days of Tishrei.  Jewish tradition teaches that during the High Holy Days God decides who will live and who will die during the coming year. A a result, during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (and in the days leading up to them) Jews embark upon the serious task of examining their lives and repenting for any wrongs they have committed during the previous year. This process of repentance is called teshuvah. Jews are encouraged to make amends with anyone they have wronged and to make plans for improving during the coming year. In this way, Rosh Hashanah is all about making peace in the community and striving to be a better person.’

Sounds like something all of us should consider doing in our own lives.

Do you celebrate Rosh Hashanah?

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