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L’Shana Tova

October 2nd, 2005 by roz

L’Shana Tova! / Happy New Year!

Rosh Hashanah is the start of the Jewish New Year, and is celebrated during the month of Tishrei, which falls during September and/or October. This year (2005) the holiday fall late and starts at sunset October 3, 2005. It is the Hebrew Year 5766.

Rosh Hashanah is considered the time of redemption, the day of judgment and is considered a solemn festival. On this day, G_d Almighty decides the future fate for each and every Jewish individual for the coming year — a person’s fate is judged yearly. On Rosh Hashanah we are inscribed in the Book of Life. On Yom Kippur, which is ten days later, the Book is sealed. (You may hear is said: “On Rosh Hashanah it is written… On Yom Kippur it is sealed!”

Although we are celebrating a New Year, it is also a time when we stand in judgment before our G_d. This invokes a feeling of mixed emotions — the joy of starting over (a new beginning), and a time for reflection when one might look back on unpleasantness and/or misdeeds one might have committed against others or oneself. It is a time when one hears the greeting L’Shana Tova Tikosevu (May you be inscribed for a good year!). Rosh Hashanah and the coming holiday of Yom Kippur are the holiest holidays in the Jewish faith.

In the Torah, Rosh Hashanah is also known as “Yom Teruah” which means the Day of Blowing the Shofar except when Rosh Hashanah falls on Shabbat (Saturday, our day of rest) the Shofar is not blown. The Shofar or Ram’s Horn is symbolic on this High Holiday and is the oldest wind instrument. It is blown a number of times during services. When we hear the sound of the Shofar we are reminded to repent and return to G_d.

To indicate the hope for a sweet year, new fruits are added to the holiday dinner table. These fruits may include any fruit that you have not as yet eaten this year, however, customary special fruit additions are: pomegranates, avocados, and persimmons. It is also customary to dip apples and/or a piece of challah in a dish of honey or sugar to insure sweetness in the coming year. These foods are eaten with the accompanying prayer: May it be Thy will, Oh Lord our G_d, to renew unto us a happy and pleasant New Year.

The ritual of Tashlich falls out on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, except when the holiday falls on the Shabbat, at which time you would go on the second day. The ceremony of Tashlich (Casting Away), consists of going to a river or lake and reciting certain prayers and throwing away our sins in the form of pieces of bread or bread crumbs. At this time one asks G_d for forgiveness. This ritual is done in the late afternoon.

The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are called “The Ten Days of Penitence” which is also known as the “Ten Days of Teshuvah.” During the ten days, up until Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) one is to evaluate themselves and hopefully come to the realization that they are to do good in accordance with G_d’s will.

This text was taken from the front page of my Rosh Hashanah in CyberSpace website at:

Posted by Roz Fruchtman / Graphics Schmaphics Exclusive Judaic Greetings Club

Posted in Rosh Hashanah

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