Roshashana - Jewish New Year
Author: Grace Carter
Jewish people all over the globe
RH goes down on the first two days of Tishrei (the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar), 162 days after the first day of Pesach. Since 1178, adding 3760 to the Gregorian calendar year will tell you what year the Hebrew calendar will welcome in autumn. Eventually, the calendars will be out of sync, but not for another 20,000 years. If all this sounds completely confusing to you, all you really have to know is that this year, Rosh Hashanah begins after sunset on October 3rd and lasts until sundown on October 5th.
Next year will be:
How to say Happy New Year:
"Shanah Tova" means "Good year," in Hebrew. (In our minds, we imagine this salutary greeting sounds best when accompanied by a tip of one of those truly awesome large fedoras worn by members of Hasidic communities and Celine Dion. Those things are stylish.)
The first thing we should make clear is that the clever Jewish people have not one, but MANY New Year's events during a year in the Hebrew calendar. There's a New Year for the counting of kings (Nissan 1), for the tithing of animals (Elul 1), and for the date after which it's cool to eat the first fruits harvested (Shevat 15). For thousands of years, they've been celebrating more often than many of us. But what we're dealing with today is the date on which the Hebrew calendar year is increased. Historically, this day represents the beginning of the economic year. It represents the birth of the book of Genesis, and has also been called "the day of blowing trumpets." We'll explain why lower down-and until we do, get your mind out of the gutter.
Values and traditions:
The truth be told, many of the holy days of the Hebrew calendar can be sober and spiritual, and Rosh Hashanah is no exception. The New Year kicks off ten "days of awe" or Yamin Noraim leading up to Yom Kippur-during this time of solemn repentance, Jews contemplate all the sins they've committed in the past year and pray at temple. The regular services are extended to include selihot (penitential prayers) and piyuttim (religious poems). One of the only similarities with Western New Year's Eve is that Jews make New Year's resolutions at this time.