The start of the agricultural year, the time when the rains begin to fall and seeds are planted is up on us. As a townie it doesn’t really directly affect my day to day life, except for the change of weather of course.
In the Jewish calendar Rosh Hashanah is celebrated at this time of year and lasts for 2 days signified by the blowing of the horn; the Shofar. The blowing of the Shofar symbolizes faith in G-d, the annual judgement day, reflection, soul-searching and the constant drive (not just in Jewish life but as concept this is universal) to improve the human experience of life.
The blowing of the horn is a wake-up call, a break from the mundane day to day business, professional activity, as well as social and political life. It marks a start to recommitting yourself to the core values and priorities. The horn itself is symbolic of a peaceful existence, its made from the horn of a ram, peaceful animal but with the means to defend itself from predators.
The word Rosh translates from the Hebrew; beginning, first, head, chief and so this time is the beginning of the year – to all others New Year. Noah, who led the rebirth of humanity after the flood is often thought of during this time. The three main pillars of this time of year are; repentance, prayer and charity.
The essence is that during this time you reflect on and repent for your misdeeds of the previous year. Your destiny will be written (but not yet sealed) at this time for the next year. Celebrations often are typified by the consumption of sweet foods; apples, honey, pomegranates… and people with each-other l’Shanah Tova, have a good and sweet year.
The sealing of destiny is at Yom Kippur, so you have a short period of time to exercise influence, but this is the day of atonement, of repentance.
So we are in 5774 and for my part I am hoping that I will be blessed with the strength to follow the laws of Noah. Even if you’re in no way religiously minded these rules are a great guide to how you lead your life. Have a look at my page https://pdinspire.wordpress.com/morality-7-rules/ which gives you an idea of how I think about these sorts of things.
I wish you all well for the coming year.
- Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown – Philly.com (philly.com)
- Jewish High Holidays begin on earliest date since 1899 (bangordailynews.com)
- Rosh Hashanah Guide for the Perplexed, 2013 (algemeiner.com)
- From Shofar to Shalom and from Symbolic Fruits to Honey, Rosh Hashanah Ecards Feature Them All at 123Greetings.com (prweb.com)
- Rosh Hashanah represents spiritual, celebratory period (triblive.com)
- Happy Rosh Hashana 5774 (formingthethread.wordpress.com)
- A Sweet and Joyful New Year to All this Rosh Hashanah (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)