In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “Head of the Year,” and as its name indicates, it is the beginning of the Jewish year. The anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, it is the birthday of mankind, highlighting the special relationship between God and humanity. Jews spent these days in the synagogue because God not only desires to have a world with people, God wants an intimate relationship with each one of us. In addition to the collective aspects of Rosh Hashanah worship, each man and woman personally asks God to accept the coronation, thus creating the bond of “We are Your people and You are our King.”
Greetings on this Day:
The common greeting at this time is L’shanah tovah (“for a good year”) or “Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim”, “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”
Some People recite the story of Sarah, Hagar, Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac. To become a better person, live a life closer to what God wants from us. We as the community of Holy Light (Generation of Peacemakers) in Pakistan, read Leviticus 23:24-25, Numbers 29, Deuteronomy 29,30, Psalm 135, 136, and Revelation 4.
Meals on Celebration:
Another popular observance during this holiday is eating apples dipped in honey, a symbol of our wish for a sweet new year. In addition to dipping an apple honey, Jewish people eat round challah bread to symbolize the circle of the life and the cycle of a new year. The challah is also in the shape of a crown because we refer to God as royalty. We eat apple, honey, banana, Bryani, and Custard on this special event.
The origins of Rosh HaShanah are found in the Bible. The Book of Leviticus (23:23-25) declares:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.”
Although this day eventually became Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year.
Four New Years in the Jewish Calendar:
The first of the Hebrew month of Nisan, the New Year of Kings, was the date used to calculate the number of years a given king had reigned.
The first of the Hebrew month of Elul was the new year for tithing of cattle, a time when one of every 10 cattle was marked and offered as a sacrifice to God.
The first of the Hebrew month of Tishrei was the agricultural new year, or the New Year of the Years.
The 15th of the Hebrew month of Sh’vat,known as Tu BiSh’vat, was the New Year of the Trees.
Although the Torah refers to Nisan as the first month of the Jewish year, the first day of the month of Tishrei emerged as what we now know as Rosh HaShanah.
The Babylonians, among whom the Jews lived, marked a “Day of Judgment” each year. The Jews believe God will judge every person on that day, immediately inscribing the completely righteous in the Book of Life and consigning the completely wicked to a sad fate. Those “in between,” however, had ten days, concluding on Yom Kippur, in which to repent before the Book of Life was sealed for the New Year. The oldest name, found in the Torah (Numbers 29:1) is Yom T’ruah (Day of Sounding the Shofar).
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