The holiday of Rosh Hashanah, or, as it is commonly called in the common people, the Jewish new year is celebrated in the fall. The traditional Jewish calendar is associated with lunar cycles, and therefore most holidays are mobile. To calculate the date on which the Jewish new year will be celebrated in 2021, you will need to use the calendar of lunar cycles. Rosh Hashanah is usually celebrated in the first days of the nascent moon in the month of Tishrei. This is the seventh month of the Jewish lunar calendar.
In different years, the month of Tishrei falls in September-October, so the first days of Tishrei, when Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah, fall in September-the first half of October, and two lunar days are celebrated. In 2021, the Jewish New year will be celebrated on September 6-7.
The essence of the holiday
Rosh Hashanah is not a secular holiday, and these days it is not customary to have fun, especially to drink alcohol. Jews read that the world was created in the 7th month of Tishrei. Major biblical events are associated with this day:
- God’s creation of the world and the first man.
- The fall of Adam and eve.
- Completion of the flood.
- The salvation of Isaac during the sacrifice to God and other equally significant events described in the Bible.
Therefore, in all Jewish temples, festive services are held, at which Jews remember these events. Jews believe that it is on Rosh Hashanah that God judges people. Rosh Hashanah is a time of revision, introspection of the past year, a time of repentance for the sins committed. Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year”. This is one of the main Jewish holidays.
Although noisy celebrations in the first days of the Jewish year are not acceptable, despondency and sadness are also not acceptable. Jews believe that God loves and protects them. The Scripture says: Serve the most high in fear, rejoice while trembling with fear.
A shofar is a signal instrument made from the horn of a goat or RAM. This is an essential attribute of the Jewish new year. In ancient times, the sound of this instrument called Jews to meetings, declared war, new decrees and prohibitions of the authorities.
Now the sound of the shofar is a reminder of the approaching day of Judgment. In synagogues, the voice of the traditional horn is heard after morning prayer from the first day of the sixth month of Elul, until the penultimate day of the same lunar month. On the last day, on the eve of the holiday, the trumpet is not blown.
But Jews always hear the thick bass of the horn on a holiday. The sound of the shofar reminds Jews of Moses ‘ encounter with God on mount Sinai. This event is recorded in the Torah. In the second book of Moses, Exodus, Chapter 19, verse 16, it is related that “a very strong trumpet sound” announced to the Jews who came to the desert of Sinai that the most high had descended on the mountain. The loud sound of the horn was heard all the time the Lord was talking to Moses.
In memory of this event, the Jews trumpet, as if foreshadowing the coming of God on the day of judgment. If Rosh Hashanah coincides with the Sabbath, shofars are silent on this day, but synagogues remember the Trumpet days with Torah readings and prayers.
Jewish new year traditions
On this day, the Jews rise long before dawn to read the penitential prayers. All preparations for the festival must be completed before noon, so that all thoughts can be turned to the upcoming day of Judgment.
On this day, people go to worship at the graves of the righteous, thereby seeking to enlist their support On the day of Judgment. They give alms (tzedakah) more than on normal days, trying to appease the Lord.
Unlike Saturdays and other public holidays, when you can not work, on New year’s Day it is allowed to prepare food. Festive candles are lit by the hostess of the house when everyone returns from the synagogue. At the same time, prayers-blessings are read. People bless God for the fact that:
- he let me live to see this day,
- he gave the commandments and laws;
- he allowed me to light holiday candles.
The festive meal begins on the night of Rosh Hashanah. It is accompanied by ancient signs and traditions. After the blessed prayer, the host dips the festive bread (Halah) in honey to make the year sweet and pleasant. After the bread is eaten, take a slice of cut Apple and dip it in a saucer with honey. At the same time, they bless the tree that gave this fruit, and turn to the Almighty with a request for fertility.
In some Jewish tribes, a fish or lamb’s head is served on the festive table, which is eaten with the appeal: “God Grant that we do not become a tail, but a head.”
Eating pomegranate seeds, people ask God to multiply their merits, as the pomegranate seeds multiply. Israeli breeders have bred several varieties of the sweet pomegranate, and 2-thirds of the fruit consumed by Jews is eaten on Jewish new year’s Day.
On the festive table do not put food with a bitter, sour and burning taste, because it is believed that bitter food will bring trouble and bitterness to the life of the family. And the nuts of the Jews associated with sin. But Housewives are happy to prepare dishes from carrots and beets, because carrots promise prosperity and fertility, and sweet beets – a sweet, happy life
New year of Trees
In the Jewish holiday tradition, there is another new year’s holiday. It is called The new year of trees. It is celebrated in January-February or on the 15th day of the month of Shvat. The new year divides the harvest into last year’s harvest and the current one. This division is taken into account when allocating tithes to God. According to the Torah, it is forbidden to tithe the current year with fruits grown in the past year.
Jewish sages established that by the 15th of Shvat, the fruits of the past year will be gathered and given to God, and new fruits will not have time to start yet. By this day, there will be fertile rains, the land will have time to rest and be saturated with moisture, and it will be possible to plant new trees.
The new year is not considered a working day, and it is not reflected in any way in prayers and Church services. However, this day is still considered a holiday. On Tu bi Shvat, they do not read memorial prayers, do not remember the deceased. On this day, every man should plant at least one tree.