Wednesday, September 17th

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Rosh Hashanah

In 2014, Rosh Hashanah – the major annual holiday celebrated annually and known as the Jewish New Year or Yom Teruah – begins on September 24 when the sun goes down and ends September 26. The moveable date is calculated each year based on the Hebrew lunar calendar.

Rosh Hashanah is the official beginning of the Hebrew calendar’s year. These days, Jews celebrate by eating apples coated in honey (for a sweet new year), going to religious services, and many participate in the ritual of “casting off” – throwing bread into running water, such as a river, to “cast off” their sins.

However, Rosh Hashanah wasn’t always the same as it is today. To show you the difference between then and now, here areah: 

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Rosh Hashanah

  1. The name of the holiday “Rosh Hashanah” isn’t mentioned in the Torah or the Dead Sea Scrolls. Modern etymology traces the origin of the name to 1846, however, the name is mentioned in rabbinical literature prior to that date. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah literally means, |”beginning of the year.”
  2. The first day of the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar  (Tishrei) is celebrated as Rosh Hashanah. However, in Biblical times, it seems the holiday was considered  fairly minor.Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord.” — Leviticus 23:24-25
  3. During the Geonic period in Jewish history, it was customary to serve a cooked calf’s head at Rosh Hashanah, symbolizing prosperity. Later, the holiday delicacy became a fish head. Many Jews substitute gefilte fish instead.
  4. Another symbol of Rosh Hashanah – pomegranates – is eaten on the second night as the symbolic “new fruit.” Why? Pomegranates were once believed to contain 613 seeds, the same number as the commandments written in the Torah.
  5. The blowing of the ancient musical instrument, the  shofar – a trumpet made from a ram’s horn – is very specific at Rosh Hashanah, consisting of four sets of blasts: one tekiah (long), three shevarim (short), nine teruah (staccato), and one tekiah gedolah (very long).  This gives Rosh Hashanah its other name – Yom Teruah, or the Feast of Trumpets.

Greeting Card Universe wishes you “L’Shana Tovah” and helps you celebrate the beginning of the Days of Awe with fantastic and unique Rosh Hashanah cards including customizable Photo Cards that let you send Sweet Wishes for the New Year to  every member of your family, friends, co-workers and synagogue members. Need a last minute card? No problem! Order on-line, get FREE in-store pick-up, usually in 1 hour, at many Target and Bartell Drug Stores.

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