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Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated in 2013 from sundown on Sept. 4 to nightfall on Sept. 6. The Hebrew date for Rosh Hashanah is 1 Tishrei 5773.

Though Rosh Hashanah literally means "head of the year," the holiday actually takes place on the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. This is because Rosh Hashanah, one of four new years in the Jewish year, is considered the new year of people, animals and legal contracts. In the Jewish oral tradition, Rosh Hashanah marks the completion of the creation of the world.

Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, or Yamim Noraim (the "Days of Awe"), and is followed 10 days later by Yom Kippur, the "day of atonement." The Mishnah refers to Rosh Hashanah as the "day of judgment," and it is believed that God opens the Book of Life on this day and begins to decide who shall live and who shall die. The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are viewed as an opportunity for Jews to repent (teshuvah, in Hebrew) and ensure a good fate.

The new year is the only Jewish holiday that is observed for two days by all Jews (other holidays are observed for just one day within the Land of Israel) as it is also the only major holiday that falls on a new moon.

A common greeting on Rosh Hashanah is shana tovah u'metukah, Hebrew for "a good and sweet new year." Many traditional Rosh Hashanah foods -- apples and honey, raisin challah, honey cake and pomegranate -- are eaten, in part, for this reason.

This Day in History September 4

New Caledonia is first sighted by Europeans, during the second voyage of Captain James Cook. (1774)

Los Angeles, California, is founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porziuncola) by 44 Spanish settlers. (1781)

The French garrison in Valletta surrenders to British troops who had been called at the invitation of the Maltese. The islands of Malta and Gozo become the Malta Protectorate. (1800)

War of 1812: The Siege of Fort Harrison begins when the fort is set on fire. (1812)

Ten year old Barney Flaherty becomes the first Newspaper Carrier. (1833)

Civil War Maryland Campaign: General Robert E. Lee takes the Army of Northern Virginia, and the war, into the North. (1862)

American Indian Wars: after almost 30 years of fighting, Apache leader Geronimo, with his remaining warriors, surrenders to General Nelson Miles in Arizona. (1886)

George Eastman registers the trademark Kodak and receives a patent for his camera that uses roll film. (1888)

Maiden flight of the first U.S. airship, the USS Shenandoah. (1923)

World War II: a Bristol Blenheim is the first British aircraft to cross the German coast following the declaration of war and German ships are bombed. (1939)

World War II: a German submarine makes the first attack against a United States ship, the USS Greer. (1941)

World War II: the British 11th Armoured Division liberates the Belgian city of Antwerp. (1944)

World War II: Finland exits from the war with Soviet Union. (1944)

The Peekskill Riots erupt after a Paul Robeson concert in Peekskill, New York. (1949)

Darlington Raceway is the site of the inaugural Southern 500, the first 500-mile NASCAR race. (1950)

The first live transcontinental television broadcast takes place in San Francisco, California, from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference. (1951)

American Civil Rights Movement: Little Rock Crisis – Orval Faubus, governor of Arkansas, calls out the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Central High School. (1957)

The Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel. (1957)

Vietnam War: Operation Swift begins: U.S. Marines engage the North Vietnamese in battle in the Que Son Valley. (1967)

Mark Spitz becomes the first competitor to win seven medals at a single Olympic Games. (1972)

The Sinai Interim Agreement relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict is signed. (1975)

The Golden Dragon Massacre took place in San Francisco, California. (1977)

Google is founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University. (1998)

Three terrorists suspected to be a part of Al-Qaeda are arrested in Germany after allegedly planning attacks on both the Frankfurt International airport and US military installations. (2007)
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