Yom Kippur starts at sundown October 12th, a day we normally light memorial candles for those we loved and lost. In every jewish home it would also be nice to to see a Yahrzeit candle burning for all those people who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11th in the United States a date that will not soon be forgotten. And sadly, for the almost daily news reports we hear about from terrorist attacks in Israel. If you light a candle already, light another one. If you don't light a candle every year, light one this year. It would be a way for Jews everywhere in the world to make a statement of sympathy, condolence and solidarity.
Reader and Mourners
v'yiskadash sh'me rabbo, b'olmo deevro
chiruseh v'yamlich malchuseh, b'chayechon uvyomechon,
uv'chayey d'chol beys yisroel, baagolo uvizman leoreev, v'imru omen
Reader and Mourners
Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or "first of the year." Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. This name is somewhat deceptive, because there isVery Little similarity between Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the year, and the American midnight drinking bash and daytime football game.
There is, however, one important similarity between the Jewish New Year and the American one: Many Americans use the New Year as a time to plan a better life, making "resolutions." Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year. More on this concept at Days of Awe.
The name "Rosh Hashanah" is not used in the Bible to discuss this holiday. The Bible refers to the holiday as Yom Ha-Zikkaron (the day of remembrance) or Yom Teruah (the day of the sounding of the shofar). The holiday is instituted in Leviticus 23:24-25.
The shofar is a ram's horn which is blown somewhat like a trumpet. One of the most important observances of this holiday is hearing the sounding of the shofar in the synagogue. A total of 100 notes are sounded each day. There are four different types of shofar notes: tekiah, a 3 second sustained note; shevarim, three 1-second notes rising in tone, teruah, a series of short, staccato notes extending over a period of about 3 seconds; and tekiah gedolah (literally, "big tekiah"), the final blast in a set, which lasts (I think) 10 seconds minimum. The Bible gives no specific reason for this practice. One that has been suggested is that the shofar's sound is a call to repentance. The shofar is not blown if the holiday falls on a Sabbath.
No work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah.
Another popular observance during this holiday is eating apples dipped in honey, a symbol of our wish for a sweet new year.