HOLIDAYS: Shana Tova! Happy 5769 New Year!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone and especially my Jewish readers a: happy, safe and prosperous New Year!
The Jewish New Year began at sundown yesterday, Monday, 29 September 2008.
The Jewish year is 5769 ...(Counting the years since the creation of Adam and Eve).
The proper greeting in Hebrew for the Jewish New Year is Shana Tova: Shana means "year" and Tova means "good."
May we all have a Shana Tova!
My friend Yehuda always has a a great way of expressing the right thoughts for the holiday:
Let's all have a happy and healthy new year. This year, let's make peace with those with whom we've been meaning to make peace. This year, let's forgive those who don't deserve it, but against whom holding a grudge is doing more harm to us than to them. This year, let's start and finish at least one of those things we've been meaning to: a game, a story, a trip, a proposal, a business, a move, a routine.
This year make the world better. Start with yourself. Then your family. Then your block. Then your community. Then your country. Then your planet.
And my friend Treppenwitz AKA David puts it even shorter, but just as sweet:
... that this year should be a sweet one filled with health, happiness and prosperity.
Here’s a little Rosh Hashanah primer for all of my non-Jewish friends and readers who don’t know the difference between Rosh Hashanah and Riki Tiki Tavi, but would like to...
— (from Wikipedia):
“The traditional greeting on Rosh Hashanah is “Shana Tova,” Hebrew for “A Good Year,” or “Shana Tova Umetukah” for “A Good and Sweet Year.” Because Jews are being judged by God for the coming year, a longer greeting translates as “May You Be Written and Sealed for a Good Year” (ketiva ve-chatima tovah).
During the afternoon of the first day occurs the practice of tashlikh, in which prayers are recited near natural flowing water, and one’s sins are symbolically cast into the water.
Many also have the custom to throw bread or pebbles into the water, to symbolize the “casting off” of sins. The traditional service for tashlikh is recited individually and includes the prayer “Who is like unto you, O God…And You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea”, and Biblical passages including Isaiah 11:9 (”They will not injure nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea”) and Psalms 118:5-9, 121 and 130, as well as personal prayers.
Rosh Hashanah meals often include apples and honey, to symbolize a “sweet new year”. Various other foods with a symbolic meaning may be served, depending on local minhag (custom), such as tongue or other meat from the head (to symbolise the “head” of the year). Other symbolic foods are dates, black-eyed beans, leek, spinach and gourd, all of which are mentioned in the Talmud. Pomegranates are used in many traditions: the use of apples and honey is a late medieval Ashkenazi addition, though it is now almost universally accepted. Typically, round challah bread is served, to symbolize the cycle of the year.”
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