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Rosh Hashanah

From sunset of September 8 through to sunset September 10 is Rosh Hashanah, ראש השנה‎, literally “Head of the year,” In contemporary Judaism it is “New Year” in the year 5771. This feast is celebrated on the first two days of of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. It is also called Yom Teruah.

In Jewish liturgy Rosh Hashanah is “the day of judgment” and “the day of remembrance”. It is a day of rest (Leviticus 23:24). When not on Shabbat, there is the blowing of the shofar (in ancient times it was also sounded on the Sabbath in the Temple), the shofar is normally made from a ram’s horn.

A Messianic Jewish page on Yom Teruah
A Jewish page on Rosh Hashanah

Readings and prayers

A fun Rosh Hashanah e-card

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3 Responses to Rosh Hashanah

  1. Just as a gloss on that, Bosco, I seem to recall that Rosh Hashanah is – strictly speaking – only one day. It’s just stretched out a bit longer than most, to make sure they don’t miss the new moon. And – strictly speaking again – it’s only one of several New Years in the Jewish calendar.

    I’m more conscious of these niceties than most, having been born on what was – strictly speaking – Leap Day. Now that everyone seems to have settled on 29 February as Leap Day, I’m not sure if I actually have a birthday any more!

  2. Don’t be silly, Bosco. I’m as old as everybody else in my cohort. It’s just that I haven’t had as many birthdays – not if one takes the view that a “day” is something that can be slipped into the “month”, or left out of it, or made twice as long as all the other days to make sure somebody sees the new moon.

    If you don’t think that’s important liturgically, just look at the trouble the churches have had over the “centuries” in agreeing on the dates for Easter. Also, it wasn’t until I was quite old that I discovered I wasn’t actually born on St Matthias’ Day because in Leap Year St Matthias (and everything after it) got put back a day to make room for the extra day.

    I guess if you look at it objectively, Leap Day for us really falls on the last day of December because that’s the 366th day of the year. It’s just that for historical – and liturgical – reasons we count the days differently. (The reason in this case being that the Romans didn’t want to put the extra day between their years, which started on the calends of March (as I’m sure you already know), so they added it at the start of the last week in the year.)

    Food for thought, litugically speaking?

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About This Site Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

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