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Judaism: This is Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, or “Day of Remembrance,” and Yom Teruah, or “Day of the Sounding of the Shofar.”  Rosh Hashanah (meaning, “head of the year” in Hebrew) is the Jewish New Year.

It is ordained in the Torah as Zicaron Terua (”a memorial with the blowing of horns”), in Leviticus 23:24: “The Lord told Moses to give these instructions to the Israelites: ‘On the appointed day, the first day of the seventh month (early autumn), you are to celebrate a day of complete rest. All your work must stop on that day. You will call the people to a sacred assembly – the Festival of Trumpets – with loud blasts from a trumpet.’ “

(The 1st day of the 7th month occurs in September or early October on the Hebrew lunar calendar)

Rosh Hashanah is the first of the High Holidays, or Yamim Noraim (”Days of Awe”) and Asseret Yemei Teshuva (Ten Days Of Repentance), which are days specifically set aside to focus on repentance, and marks the beginning of the 10-day period of atonement leading up to Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement, and is the most solemn day of the Jewish year), during which Jews are commanded to search their souls, and make amends for sins committed, intentionally or not, throughout the year.

During this time (Ten Days of Repentance) it is considered appropriate for Jews to practice Teshuvah (literally: “returning” or “repentance”) which is examining one’s ways, engaging in repentance and the improvement of their ways in anticipation of Yom Kippur. This repentance can take the form of early morning prayers, known as selichot, fasting, charity, acts of Hesed (”loving-kindness”), or self-reflection.

The Mishnah, the core text of Judaism’s oral Torah, contains the first known reference to Rosh Hashanah as the “day of judgment.” In the Talmud’s essay on Rosh Hashanah, it states that three books of account are opened on Rosh Hashanah.  The names of the righteous are immediately inscribed in the book of life, and they are sealed “to live.” The next book are those that are allowed a respite of ten days, until Yom Kippur, to repent, and become righteous. The wicked, the third book, are “blotted out of the book of the living.”

Holiday customs include blowing the shofar, or ram’s horn, in the synagogue. (Most of the trumpets used were rams’ horns; although, some of the more special trumpets were made of beaten silver.)

The blowing of the shofar is intended to awaken the listener from his or her “slumber,” and alert them to the coming judgment.

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Blog Contents
      What is Lent?
      Holy Week
      This is Christmas
Other Religions:
      Religion in Southeast Asia
      The Concept of God in the Hindu World
      Why Jews Don't Believe in Jesus
      Religious Allegiance vs Belief & Faith
      This is Yom Kippur
      This is Rosh Hashanah
Islam, Shiite:
     This is Ashura
     This is Ramadan
      Religions are Forms of Superstition
      How America Sees God
      Hearing with Different Ears
Text of Religions:
      This is the Bible, on One Page
      The Da Vinci Code versus the Bible
Houses of Worship:
      Brick and Mortar

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