20 September 2015 - 7 Tishri 5776 - ז' תשרי ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Rosh Hashanah – Jewish New Year E-mail

Rosh Hashanah falls on the first and second days of Ti shre i . Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “head of the year” or “first of the year.” In 2012 we will enter the year 5773 of the Jewi sh cal endar.

The festival appears in the following verses in the Torah: “In the seventh month, on the first of the month, there shall be a sabbath for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation.” Book of Leviticus, chapters 23:25. Although the name Rosh Hashanah does not appear it is referred to as Yom Ha-Zikaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar).

The celebration of this holiday is marked with solemnity, as it is the day on which the whole world is judged for the coming year. The holiday is the birthday of the world, as it was on this day that G-d created Man on the sixth day of creation. Every year, on this day, we proclaim G-d as our one and true King.

The Shofar

The shofar is a ram’s horn which is blown during the prayer services. One of the most important observances is to hear the sound of the shofar in the synagogue. A total of 100 notes are sounded on each day. There are four different types of shofar notes: Tekiah, a 3 second sustained note; Shevarim, three 1-second notes rising in tone, Teruah, a series of short, staccato notes extending over a period of about 3 seconds. The Tekiah Gedolah (literally, “big
tekiah”), is a final longer blast.

The sound of the shofar is likened to a call to repentance. If the festival falls on Shabbat the shofar is not blown.

Why do we blow the shofar?

Since Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the creation of the world, it follows that it is also the anniversary of God being sovereign over the world. It is a coronation of sorts, and thus we trumpet the shofar just like at a coronation ceremony.

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