A Synopsis of Jewish New Year – Day Of PeaceAugust 29, 2021
A Synopsis of Jewish New Year – Day Of Peace
Rosh Hashanah is one of two main holidays celebrated by most Jews, and the start of their fasting from the seventh day of Tishrei in Israel. Meaning first of all the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah also begins on the anniversary of creation or the creation of humankind. The festival marks the commencement of a ten-day period of repentance and introspection that culminates in the bringing of a new Hasmonean Year to the world. According to the traditional chronology, this happened around Abraham’s arrival in heaven. Some authorities believe it actually took place after Abraham died.
Rosh Hashanah is also known as “Passover Sale” or “Passover Loved Ones”. On this day, children may visit their relatives’ homes and celebrate the joys of their family members and relatives’ good deeds throughout the year. Gifts may be brought to family members, and family members may gather together for the purpose of eating and sharing meals. In addition, children may visit their parents’ homes during this period and bond with them as they observe the special holiday.
The traditional holiday is characterized by lots of food and gifts being brought and distributed to those who are celebrating the holiday. The gifts given to guests range in value from silverware and utensils to furniture, carpets, and decorations. The food itself is generally served at sundown, and dinner might be served again after dark. The purpose of celebrating the holiday is to offer thanks to God for His blessings upon the Jews and to remind them of their obligations to one another. In fact, Jews are prohibited from eating or even displaying any symbols of their religion on this day.
What do we see on Rosh Hashanah? We see a beautifully decorated home adorned with various huppah (tapestries), tefillin (wide prayer cloak) and shawls – symbols of Jewish pride and identity. There is also an abundance of food: rich yogurt, matzo, and other delicious sweets; meat and vegetable dishes; and of course, traditional, symbolic round Challah bread. The traditional, symbolic breakfast dish is to take one small piece of dough from the Shavuot wheat and form it into a circle, then into the shape of a star.
During the holiday, there are many customs and actions that are observed. The entire family celebrates the new year by eating special foods and taking part in various activities. The first meal of the holiday is called “Kafara”, and is unleavened bread made with milk and water. After the morning offering of shiva, prayers are said in the morning followed by the blessings of G-d.
Another tradition associated with Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of “Tisha Bachrash” – a time for gathering with the family and friends to eat special foods. One of these is the tradition of eating apples in memory of G-d. An apple is cut into three pieces and then arranged on the table or on a large platter. This is a symbol of Mennelus – the man who provided the Jews with the apple tree.
On Rosh Hashanah, we remember the miracle of Mennelus. This incident happened thousands of years ago and is known as the miracle of Tishri Chochmah. Tishri Chochmah describes the miraculous raising of a child out of a water pool. This event is considered so important that even today, thousands of prayers are said over the waters of the Hasmoneh – the holy Pool of Water in the Temple of Jerusalem. The miracle of Tishri Chochmah is commemorated in a special prayer that is recited by all the members of a prayer community on Rosh Hashana. It calls upon G-d to increase our knowledge and power so that we may know the secrets of this world and its creation.
The other important holiday associated with Rosh Hashana is the sending of silver bells called “tishret” to each of Israel’s twenty cities. They signify the triumph of good over evil. Unlike the lunar New Year, when only people living on earth celebrate, Rosh Hashana includes people from every nation, tribe and people, as it is a celebration of peace. All who are lucky enough to be present at this special Jewish holiday will feel the miracle of joy as they listen to the calming sound of “tishret” on Rosh Hashana.