Last night, Jews from around the world gathered in private homes and synagogues to start the 2-day celebrations ushering in the year 5773 in the Jewish calendar. It’s Rosh Hashanah 2012.
The 2-day celebrations of the New Year mark the beginning of the 10-day holiday that will end with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, known as the most somber day in the Jewish calendar.
“Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated in 2012 from sundown on Sept. 16 to nightfall on Sept. 18. The Hebrew date for Rosh Hashanah is 1 Tishrei 5773,” The Huffington Post explains.
Now is the time to be charitable and thankful, and, above all, to connect to God and fellow people through prayer and penitence, as the video below, which explains the essence of Rosh Hashanah, puts it.
“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,” the Post further reports.
“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,” adds the same media outlet.
For two days, starting last night until tomorrow at nightfall, all Jews will observe Rosh Hashanah, this being the only holiday that Jews observe for two days in a row.
Traditional foods consumed at this time include apples dipped in honey, honey cake and raisin challah, and other sweets. Considering that the Hebrew greeting at this time is shana tovah u'metukah (“a good and sweet new year”), the reason for their presence on the table is partly explained.
On Rosh Hashanah 2012, both Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have called a temporary “truce” to offer greetings.
Since no New Year is complete without resolutions, here are a few tips on how you can keep those you make on Rosh Hashanah 2012.