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Jewish Holiday Rosh Hashanah

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Jewish Holiday Rosh Hashanah

There are many types of religions and religious practices throughout the world. This paper will review the Jewish holy day Rosh Hashanah, also known as the Jewish New Year. At the end of this paper you will know the time of year of the holy day, the historical origin of the holy day, what religious practices are associated with the day, and some cultural differences that might lead to differences in the observance of the holy day by the various branches of Judaism.

Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri. Tishri is the seventh month of the Jewish year. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means "head of the year", thus the reason it is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. Contradicting to the American New Year with the displays of celebrations and parties, Rosh Hashanah is one of the holiest days of the year in the Jewish community.

However there are some similarities between Rosh Hashanah and the American New Year. One of the similarities is many people will use the American New Year as a time to make resolutions, a time to improve themselves physically or mentally. As with the Jewish New Year which is a time to start introspection, improve on past mistakes and plan on positive changes for the New Year. A time of introspection is known as Days of Awe, which starts with Rosh Hashanah and ends with Yom Kippur. This is the time to consider the sins of the previous year.

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 (T. R. Rich, 2011).

There are many religious practices associated with Rosh Hashanah, for instance what is known as the shofar, a ram's horn blown like a trumpet. This is a very important observance of this holiday to ensure the hearing the sounding of the shofar. There are a total of 100 notes sounded each day. According to the Bible there is no specific reason for as to why this practice exists. It is said to be the sound of shofar is a call to repentance. On the holy day Rosh Hashanah work is not permitted. Majority of the day is spent in synagogue. During this holy day there is prayer book called the machzor that is used for the morning prayer service. This is because of the extensive liturgical changes for these holidays such as majesty and judgment, remembrance, the birth of the world, and the blowing of the shofar. Another observance that is done during this holiday is eating apples dipped in honey. This is a wish for a sweet new year. There are a few other things such as dipping bread in honey or sprinkling salt on it at this time of year for the same reason.

Then you have what is called Casting off, also known as Tashlikh. This practice is where



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