Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein: Hello my friends, I am Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. And today I want to discuss with you the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah.
Rosh Hashanah is a two-day holiday, generally in September or October, but its based on the Hebrew Calendar. It marks not only the beginning on the new year, but a period that is referred to as The Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement.
Its a time for introspection, for reflection, for prayer, for looking at ourselves, seeing our sins, coming to grips with them, and making a commitment to repent and do better in the coming new year.
No work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah, we spend most of our time in the synagogue in prayer, we also fulfill the biblical commandment to blow the shofar, a 100 blasts each day and that marks not only the official beginning of the new year but is a call for repentance.
Another practice is called Tashlich, meaning to throw, and it is a practice where we go to a lake or a body of water, throw in a piece of bread or two and symbolically rid ourselves of the sins that we may have committed during the year.
Several festive foods are eaten on Rosh Hashanah, the most traditional being an apple dipped in honey that symbolizes our desire and our hope and our prayer that we have a sweet year.
We also eat a new fruit on this Holy Day to remind us of the regeneration of our spirit and to appreciate Gods blessings to us the fruit of the earth. Rosh Hashanah provides us with an opportunity to reflect on our past and resolve to be and do better in the coming new year. Its a time for families to come together; its a time of celebration.
Enclosing I wish you and your families, the traditional blessing and greeting that we offer each other on Rosh Hashanah, L'shanah Tovah, may you have and be blessed with a wonderful New Year.