Dates and Origins of Rosh Hashanah

Honey and Apples
Honey and Apples (Lilach Daniel / CC-by)

Rosh Hashanah Dates in 2017, 2018 and 2019

Rosh Hashanah is celebrated at the following dates:

  • Thursday, 21st and Friday, September 22nd 2017
    In NYC, starts Wednesday at 18:38 and ends Friday at 19:35.
  • Monday, 10th and Tuesday, September 11th 2018
    In NYC, starts Sunday at 18:57 and ends Tuesday at 19:54.
  • Monday, 30th and Tuesday, October 1st 2019
    In NYC, starts Sunday at 18:24 and ends Tuesday at 19:20.

Rosh Hashanah is the name for the Jewish New Year, which take place on the first day of Tishrei. This is also the first day of the Jewish civil year, though it is the seventh month of the religious year2. According to the Mishnah and Talmud, there are four new years for different purposes3. Rosh Hashanah is the new year for people, animals and for legal contracts4. It usually coincides with September or October.

Origin

Rosh Hashana began at the beginning of the economic year in the near east for agriculture-based economies5. According to religious interpretations, this day is supposed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and eve as well as their first step towards realizing the role of humans in God's work2.

Rosh Hashana is referred to as the day of judgement according to the Mishnah. During this holiday, three books are opened; one for the wicked, one for the righteous and one for the intermediate. The names of the righteous are inscribed immediately in the book of life and are sealed to live. The intermediates have 10 days to repent before the final judgement on Yom Kippur. The wicked, however, are "blotted out of the book of the living forever." During the month of Elul, which directly precedes Tishrei, repentance and self-examination are supposed to be carried out by Jews in preparation for the judgement2. During this time, the shofar is blown each morning, excluding the Shabbat. The period of time between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur is known as Yamim Nora'im6.

Celebration

Rosh Hashana is traditionally celebrated by sounding a hollowed out ram's horn called the shofar and eating apples dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet new year as described in Leviticus 23:23 - 221. Other traditional dishes dates, pomegranates, black-eyed peas, rodanchas (pumpkin filled pastries), keftedes de prasa (leek fritters), beets and a whole fish with the head intact7. The eve before Rosh Hashanah is typically festive but serious because of the upcoming synagogue services.

Religious Holidays

Wednesday 09 August Week 32 | Felim NFull Moon

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