Voices from Russia

Sunday, 16 September 2012

16 September 2012. The Jewish High Holy Days Begin at Sundown Today… Congrats to All My Jewish Friends


My good wishes go out to all my Jewish readers and friends. It’s Jewish New Year! Hooray… but it’s also the Days of Awe, when Jewish people ask forgiveness for all that they’ve fallen short in during the previous year. They conclude with the blowing of the shofar on Yom Kippur, which is on 26 September this year.

Have a most meaningful High Holy Days…



Thursday, 29 September 2011

VOR Presents… Rosh ha-Shana (Rosh Hashanah)… or, Jewish New Year 5772

On the evening of 28 September, Jewish communities began to celebrate Rosh ha-Shana, or, the Jewish New Year, which they calculate from the date of creation. According to the Jewish reckoning, the year coming is 5772. During the High Holy Days (Days of Awe), every believer gives an accounting of all their words, thoughts, and deeds of the past year to the Creator. People repent and correct their shortcomings, in order to return to God.


Jews celebrate Rosh ha-Shana, which in Hebrew means, “The ‘head’ (beginning) of the year”, on the first and second days of Tishrei on the Jewish calendar.


On the eve of Rosh ha-Shana, Jews greet each other with the wish, “May only good be written of you this year”. An ancient legend says that the names of everyone living on earth is written in the great book of life in heaven, and that God decides everyone’s fate during the time of Rosh ha-Shana, “Who shall live, and who shall die; who shall have serenity, and who shall roam; who shall have confidence, and who shall doubt; who shall be wealthy, and who shall be in poverty”.


One of the important parts of the celebration of Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn) during Morning Prayer. Jewish believers see this as a challenge to Divine Justice and as a call to repentance.


Like all Jewish holidays, the day begins with a prayer. In Moscow, the celebration of Rosh ha-Shana began at the Jewish Community Centre in Maryina Roshcha with a concert of the Hasidic Cappella Male Chorus, At 19.00 MSK (16.00 UTC, 11.00 EDT 08.00 PDT), the faithful lit candles, and Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar read the Prayer of the Year.


Israeli Ambassador to Russia Dorit Golender  (1951- ) (left) and Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar  (1964- ) (right) at Rosh ha-Shana celebrations at the Moscow Jewish Community Centre.


Jews count the New Year from the sixth day of creation, the day when God created the first man. Rav Lazar said, “This has a deeper meaning. We must remember mankind’s creation; we must become acutely aware that our lives have significance, which means that we didn’t come into the world aimlessly, but through the Will of the Creator”.


A father and son, participants in the solemn celebration of Rosh ha-Shana, seen before the start of the festive events at the Moscow Jewish Community Centre.


Jewish pilgrims seen during Evening Prayer at the synagogue. About 40,000 Hasidic Jews celebrate Rosh ha-Shana in Uman (Cherkasy Oblast, the Ukraine).


Prior to the festal New Year’s meal, the custom is to eat apples dipped in honey; this custom is to wish everyone a “good and sweet” New Year. During the meal, they eat fish, pomegranates, carrots, beets, and other fruit whose names in Hebrew or Yiddish are associated with good events.


Voice of Russia World Service

29 September 2011


Blog at WordPress.com.