Shalom uvruchim haba-im to the Twenty-Fourth Learn Hebrew Pod Newsletter.
A New Year – A New Beginning
Rosh Hashana – literally meaning "Head of the Year"- marks the first two days of the Jewish New Year. Tradition has it that the world was created on Rosh Hashana, with each new Hebrew calendar year progressing from time immemorial – the time since the world began.
Celebrated On the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, Rosh Hashana is believed to be a time when destinies and fates (the world's and each individual in it) are determined for the coming year but not yet sealed. A day when Jews remember the past (their own and their people's) and pray for the future. It is part of a period of soul searching and repentance that started a month earlier and will culminate ten days after Rosh Hashana on Yom Kipur - The Day of Atonement – The holiest of Jewish holidays. The day destinies and fates will be signed and sealed.
Together the ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kipur are known as the "Yamim Noraim" (or "days of awe") as Jews consider the deeds of the past year, repenting and asking forgiveness for wrongs done and sins committed.
Rosh Hashana and Yom Kipur are all about new beginnings. About trying to make amends to those you have wronged, do more and try harder to be a better person in the coming year. The traditional greeting for Rosh Hahana is: Shana Tova (literally – a good year.) For Yom Kipur the greeting is - Chatima Tova (literally a good signing). As it is believed that one's destiny is sealed on Yom Kipur the hope is for a favourable judgment to be "signed"/entered in the book of life. That one's fate in the coming year will be positive.)
Families gather and eat apple dipped in honey for a sweet year to come and pomegranates for a year as plentiful as pomegranate seeds and in synagogues they blow the shofar (a ram's horn) – to open heavens gates to the people's prayers and to announce and welcome the New Year.
We Hope that the New Year will bring us:
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