So life has been a bit crazy as I have returned to my crooked little Brooklyn apartment, and I’m a bit late wishing you all a Happy Jewish New Year! Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) was on Thursday, and I’ll say that my excuse for not posting that day was due to the fact that I spent a good bit of the day in the hospital getting x-rays and reaquinting myself with the medical staff at Maimonedes. I re-injured my leg Wednesday night and am back on crutches!
Anyways, be that as it may, I thought I shouldn’t just ignore such an important holiday all together. Rosh Hashanah literally means “head of the year” and is a joyful day which kicks off a bunch of important fall holidays. This holiday involves things like eating apples and honey to symbolize a sweet new year and listening to the blowing of the shofar.
The blowing of the shofar has many symbolic meanings, one of which is to symbolize a call to repentence and examination of the heart. Listeing to the blowing of the shofar is a commandment. When I was in the hospital waiting for my x-rays, there were several Jewish men going around the hospital blowing them to make sure that each Jewish patient was able to hear. Another interesting bit of information is that for most holidays the greeting is Chag Sameach (happy holidays), but I was informed that you don’t use this greeting for Rosh Hashanah but instead simply say Shanah Tovah (Happy New Year).
We are now currently in the period of time known as the Days of Awe. This is a time of soul-searching in between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which begins Friday night at sundown. Yom Kippur is the most solemn day of the year because this is the day in which they believe that a person’s name is inscribed in the Book of Life for the coming year. The days leading up to this are spent making sure that all of their sins and mistakes are atoned for and taken care of. They try to do as many good deeds as they can and hope that it is enough to get their names in the Book of Life for the next year. After Yom Kippur begins the Feast of Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles in which Jews build little rooms outside their houses called Sukkahs. But more about that later…:)
And now I leave you with a few music videos. The words of the songs kind of exemplify the Jewish mentality of the new year.