Rosh Hashanah 2011 September 29th – Jewish New Year

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah is the Hebrew for "head of the year", it marks the
first day of the High Holidays or Yamim Noraim ("Days of Awe").
It starts in the evening before the day itself.

Rosh Hashanah - A Jewish Special Occasion

The Mishnah, the core work of the Jewish oral law, sets Rosh Hashanah aside as
the new year for calculating calendar years and sabbatical and jubilee
years.  This holiday is part of the Yamim Noraim [Hebrew, "Days of Awe"]; the
Yamim Noraim are a ten day period which begins with Rosh Hashanah, followed
by the days of repentance, and end with the holiday of Yom Kippur.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, falls on the Hebrew calendar dates of
1 and 2 Tishrei, where Tishrei is the first month of the civil Jewish year.
The first day of the seventh month of the ecclesiastical
year is also the 1st of Tishrei or Rosh ha-Shanah.  Since the Middle
Ages Rosh Hashanah has been a two day festival, and the rules for
calculating the start of the new civil year are such that
Rosh Hashanah can never start on a Wednesday, Friday or Sunday.

Rabbinic literature describes this day as a day of judgement.  God is
sometimes referred to as the "Ancient of Days." Some descriptions depict God
as sitting upon a throne, while books containing the deeds of all humanity
are opened before Him.  Tishrei 1 corresponds to the sixth day of
creation -- "God said: 'Let us make Man in Our image...' " (Genesis 1:26).

Here Are the Secular Dates for Rosh Hashanah

2010: September 9th
until 10th (2 Tishrei)
2011: September 29th until 30th (2 Tishrei)
2012: September 17th until 18th (2 Tishrei)
2013: September
5th  until 6th
(2 Tishrei)
2014: September 25th  until 26th (2 Tishrei)
2015: September 14th until 15th (2 Tishrei)

Note. The Jewish calendar date begins at sundown of the night beforehand,
Will and Guy have learned. Thus all holiday observances begin at sundown on
the secular dates listed, with the following day being the first full day of
the holiday. Jewish calendar dates conclude at nightfall.

Hanukkah - A Jewish Special OccasionHappy Hanukkah

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. It
starts on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which coincides with late
November - late December on the secular calendar.
See our Hanukkah jokes.

Ways of Celebrating the Special Holy Days of Rosh HashanahRosh Hashanah Food

While there are elements of joy and celebration, Rosh Hashanah is a
deeply religious occasion. The customs and symbols of Rosh Hashanah reflect
the holiday's dual emphasis, happiness and humility.

Rosh Hashanah, Will and Guy have been told is celebrated with sweet
foods, like apples dipped in honey and honey cake, as a wish for a sweet
year. Some families also celebrate with symbolic foods like the head of a
fish, pomegranates, and carrots.

The head of a fish is so that we can be "like the head and not like the
tail." This is a symbol of having a year in which we are on top and not the
bottom. Pomegranates are symbolic of plenty. We want plenty of health and
happiness for the New Year, just as many good things as there are seed in a
pomegranate. Thousands say Will and Guy.

Carrots are also eaten and it isn't just to see better in the dark. For
Ashkenazi Jews, carrots symbolize the Yiddish word "merren" which also means
more. We want more of all the good things in life. More health, more
happiness, more success. For Sephardic Jews, carrots are symbolic of the
phrase "Yikaretu oyveychem" which means may your enemies be cut down. We ask
that those who wish bad for us not get their wish, that they don't succeed.

Round challots [bread] are made with honey and raisins. These are another
symbol of a sweet and happy year. We put decorations on the Challot, such as
birds which symbolise doves of peace.

A shofar is a horn, traditionally that of a ram, which is used for Jewish
religious purposes.  Shofar blowing is incorporated in synagogue
services on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Jokes for Rosh Hashanah

Save Me Lord
David Greenbaum is a devoutly religious
man who believes in the power of prayer.  His house is caught in the
rising waters of a devastating flood.

A row boat comes by to rescue him; he refuses it because he waits for his
God to save him. As the waters rise Greenbaum climbs higher and higher up
his house, refusing each successive boat that comes by.

Finally he drowns and goes to heaven. He complains bitterly to the Lord
that he was such a good Jew and yet the Lord had forsaken him
'How can
you say that, David?' the Lord retorts. 'I sent four boats for you.'

A Priest and a Rabbi
A priest and a rabbi are
discussing the pros and cons of their various religions, and inevitably the
discussion turns to repentance.

Rabbi Shimon Ben Gamliel explains Yom Kippur, the solemn Day of
Atonement, a day of fasting and penitence, while the Father John tells him
all about Lent, and its 40 days of self-denial and absolution from sins.

After the discussion ends, the rabbi goes home to tell his wife, Deborah,
about the conversation, and they discuss the merits of Lent versus Yom

Deborah turns her head and laughs.
The rabbi says, 'What's so funny,

Deborah's response, '40 days of Lent - one day of Yom, even
when it comes to sin, the goyyim* pay retail.....'

*Goyyim is a term for a gentile or non-Jew.

See more clean but funny
Rosh Hashanah jokes.

Will and Guy are keen to learn more about
Rosh Hashanah, so please send us your stories and interesting information.

See more dates for 2011.  Also check the day of the week
for these festivals:

• Chinese New Year 2011
• Valentine's Day 2011
• Chinese Valentine's
2011   • St George Day 2011

Thanksgiving 2011   •
Christmas 2011   • Tour de France 2011
• Halloween 2011   •
Diwali 2011

• Ramadan 2011   •
Eid ul-Fitr 2011   •
Rosh Hashanahi 2011   •
Yom Kippur 2011   •
Hanukkah 2011