Wednesday, September 24, 2014
L'Shana Tova! It's Rosh Hashona
Celebrating 5,775 Years With The Same Management...
Tonight at sundown, Rosh Hashona, the Jewish New Year kicks in, traditionally a time for reflection and spiritual self-examination, as it starts the Days of Awe that proceed through Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.
Since this year it also runs in to the Sabbath, I will be offline until Saturday evening.
It's traditional during this holiday to eat apples and honey and sweet things in general, as you see these Jews in Uganda doing:
Pomegranates are also eaten, because the seeds symbolize fertility.
One of the most important traditions of the holiday is the blowing of a ram's horn, the shofar. It is designed to be a trumpet call that galvanizes Jews into a spiritual awakening, in the ten days before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
One of the holiest places to blow the shofar on Rosh Hashona and Yom Kippur is at the kotel, the Western Wall. And there are still Jews alive who remember when that was a crime.
When the British ruled Israel,they did everything they could to deny the Jews a nation in spite of their pledged word, simple human decency, international law and the terms of the League of Nations mandate they held to create a Jewish state.
As part of that, they forbade Jews to sound the shofar or bring Torah scrolls to the Kotel under pain of arrest and imprisonment. And of course, after the Arabs took over the Old City, the Jews who lived there were forcibly expelled,their Holy shrines were desecrated and destroyed and the Kotel was used as a garbage dump.
Here's a wonderful video showing how the Jews dealt with the British and what happened at the Kotel when the Jews retook the Old City from the Arabs after 19 years of exile. It will make you smile:
Anyone who thinks the Jews are willingly going to give up Jerusalem again ought to seek psychiatric care.
My very best wishes for the coming year....may you and yours be inscribed for a sweet and wonderful year.
Shanah tovah u'metukah.