Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur

Rosh Hashanah begins the night of Monday October 3, 2005
Yom Kippur begins the night of Wednesday October 12, 2005

This is a very holy time. There are ten days of ROSH HASHANA, the days of atonement. A two day festival in which candles are lit, kiddush prayers are said with wine, and new clothes are worn. Sweet apples in honey are traditional.

The blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn) signifies not only the end of the holiday, but a wake-up call to remember God’s laws and the redemption of the Jews. That gives me shivers of awe. AWE, people.

Wake up, it is the head of the coming year and the shofar is blown in the Heavenlies.
Then there is Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. God renders judgments.
A day when we come face to face with who we really are
This is a significant, significant time.
What can be said? Selah. Selah, the pregnant pause where you just stop and think.

Then, five days after Yom Kippur, the five days of SUKKOT begin. That is a particularly beautiful tradition. The Feast of Booths. The dancing that comes after the mourning, the joyful harvest that comes after the tears.

A special season known as Teshuvah, which in Hebrew means “to return or repent,” begins on the first day of the month of Elul and continues 40 days, ending with Yom Kippur. 30 days into Teshuvah, on Tishrei l, comes Rosh HaShanah. This begins a final ten-day period beginning on Rosh HaShanah and ending on Yom Kippur. These are known as the High Holy Days and as the Awesome Days (Yamim Nora’im, the days of awe). The sabbath that falls within this ten-day period is called Shabbat Shuvah, the Sabbath of Return. Five days after Yom Kippur is Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. Teshuvah begins on Elul 1 and concludes on Tishrei 10, Yom Kippur. Each morning during the 30 days of the month of Elul, the trumpet (shofar) or ram’s horn is blown to warn the people to repent and return to G-d.

Baruch atah, Adonai elohainu, melech haolam, boray pree ha aitz.

Blessed are You, God, Ruler of the universe, creator of the fruit of the tree.

Y’hee ritzon meelfanechah, Adonai elohainu vi-elohay avotaynu, sheh tichadesh alainu shanah tovah oomtookah.

May it be your will, our God and God of our people, that the New Year be good and sweet for us.

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