Happy Rosh Hashanah, the new year of Jews. The Jewish community enters the year of 5,778 today (September 20).
The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah (יוֹם תְּרוּעָה), literally "day [of] shouting/blasting." It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days (יָמִים נוֹרָאִים Yamim Nora'im, lit. "Days [of] Awe") specified by Leviticus 23:23–32, which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere.
Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, which begins on the first day of Tishrei. Tishrei is the first month of the Jewish civil year, but the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year.
According to Judaism, the fact that Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the year is explained by it being the traditional anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman according to the Hebrew Bible, and their first actions toward the believed realization of humanity's role in God's world.
According to one secular opinion its origin is in the beginning of the economic year in the ancient Near East, marking the start of the agricultural cycle.
Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram's horn), as prescribed in the Torah, following the prescription of the Hebrew Bible to "raise a noise" on Yom Teruah; and among its rabbinical customs is attending synagogue services and reciting special liturgy about teshuva, as also enjoying festive meals.
Eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey is now a tradition, hoping thereby to evoke a "sweet new year". (NV/TK)
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