Interview: Jonathan Pollard: Why I Was Forced to Break My Silence By Avraham Y. Heschel - Hamodia - August 25, 2019, and What determines the date of Rosh Hashanah (this year on Sept 30 and Oct 1)? Is Rosh Hashanah a Sabbath? Can you work on Rosh Hashanah? Why is Rosh Hashanah 2 days? and Me and my Brother on the first day in Krakow Poland
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement
Love Yehuda Lave
If you have attachment wounds, it is likely that your sense of "SELF" is like a LEGO STRUCTURE, built on little pieces of other people's responses to you. This is VERY shaky ground, since people can be so unpredictable, preoccupied and moody!
Thus, you might become overly reactive to people's judgments, criticisms and faults. Even if you do feel happy with a few minutes of attention and affection you get from people, you will tend to go right back to feeling ignored, rejected, scared, agitated and abandoned when you don't get enough or don't feel good enough. You might lash out, "You're not looking at me! You're not paying attention! You didn't even return my call!" "You never have time for me!" "You're not present! You don't really care! You're always on your phone!"You either LASH OUT ANGRILY and resentfully at the people you think are depriving you of what you want or you will LASH IN ANGRILY at yourself, shaming yourself for not being good enough to deserve or attract love, attention, affection and understanding.
Almost all the emotional problems and mental disturbances can be traced back to these ATTACHMENT WOUNDS.
Love Yehuda Lave
Interview: Jonathan Pollard: Why I Was Forced to Break My Silence
After serving 30 years in prison for passing classified U.S. secrets about Arab countries to Israel — information that helped save many Jewish lives — Jonathan Pollard was finally released on parole in November of 2015, albeit under extremely severe restrictions.
In an exclusive conversation with Hamodia, the only interview he has granted to an American media outlet, Pollard explains why he is breaking his self-imposed silence. In a candid talk that took place in the tiny Manhattan studio apartment he shares with his wife, Mrs. Esther Pollard, Jonathan reveals his innermost feelings to the broader Jewish community.
Q: When you were finally released on parole three and a half years ago, you were determined to keep a low profile and refrain from giving interviews.
A: That's true.
Q: What happened to change your mind?
A: A life-and-death situation arose. My wife, Esther, went for a routine mammogram. The results were troubling, so a biopsy was performed. When biopsy results confirmed that Esther was struck by cancer yet again — for the third time — the ground fell out from under me.
Q: So you decided to go public?
A: No. Not at that point.
Q: What happened next?
A: We had a meeting with a world-famous oncologist, Dr. Yashar Hirshaut, who is affiliated with Maimonides Hospital, one of the best hospitals in the U.S.
Dr. Hirshaut immediately requested a PET scan for Esther. When the test results came back, we learned that the cancer had metastasized, it had spread to her bones. It became clear to us that Esther's situation was far worse than we had originally thought. It was now a matter of life and death.
Q: How did you react when you got the bad news?
A: It's difficult to describe in words the surge of conflicting emotions I felt at that moment. Esther was with me, so I knew I should be strong for her, but I just started to tremble all over with fear. It took all of my strength not to just bury my head in my hands and cry my eyes out. At the same time, I was overwhelmed with worry about my wife and consumed by the need to protect her and defend her. You have to understand, Esther is my whole world. So this kind of devastating news reduced me to my very essence, and at that point I cried out to the Eibershter to give me the strength I needed at that moment to be strong for Esther, and I was immediately answered.
Q: What do you mean when you say you were answered?
A: I was immediately filled with the same calmness and resolve that I experienced when I was interrogated in prison and brutally beaten. Both of my ankles were deliberately broken and I was stomped on and viciously kicked so many times that my lower spine was cracked and permanently damaged during these interrogations. Yet no matter how much pain I experienced, I clearly felt that Hakadosh Baruch Hu was there with me, helping to absorb the blows. I felt strong in spite of the trauma, and I did not cry out, and I never broke. It was the same sense of Hashem's closeness to us that flooded me and filled me with the strength and courage I needed at that devastating moment when I had to comfort and reassure my wife.
Q: Let me first digress for a second to ask, what do you mean when you say you "never broke"? What did your interrogators want from you?
A: They wanted me to identify prominent American Jews whom I suspected might be involved in spying for Israel. They showed me lists of well-known Jewish people and asked to simply put a check mark beside the ones who should be hauled in for interrogation. They told me that if I cooperated, things would go well for me. They assured me that none of these people would know that I was the one who fingered them and that I would never have to testify against them in court.
Q: You never did what was asked of you.
A: Absolutely not! A Jew does not accuse or implicate another Jew to the gentiles. Never!
Q: How did your interrogators respond to your refusal to cooperate?
A: They beat me relentlessly and threatened that each breath I drew might be my last if I didn't "wise up." But I never broke. I would rather take the blows than be moser another Jew. I put my life in Hashem's hands and He brought me through these brutal beatings alive, time and time again. Yishtabach Shemo!
Q: That certainly explains how you've learned to spontaneously draw close to Hashem in times of crisis. How did your wife react to the devastating news of her illness?
A: There is a well known passuk in Mishlei in which Shlomo Hamelech teaches, "Just as water reflects one face to another, so too are the hearts of man." Esther's eyes were filled with tears. She looked at me and saw that I was calm, so she too remained calm. She has tremendous emunah and bitachon which, over the years we have been together, have always inspired me to keep growing in these core essentials. We looked at each other and with tears in our eyes reassured each other that with the help of Hakadosh Baruch Hu we would face this challenge together and overcome it.
Q: Was this the moment that you decided to break your silence and go public to seek help?
A: Not immediately. But it was rapidly becoming clear to both of us that extreme circumstances call for extreme action. I knew we could not fight the Malach Hamaves without a lot of assistance, both from the government of Israel and from our brethren. I had to quickly find the most effective way to cry out for help.
Over the course of the next week, Esther and I discussed it, and we realized that the time had come for me to end my silence. I chose to do an interview with Israel's Channel 12 News program. We knew from my wife's decades-long experience with the media that a successful news interview on Israel's prime-time news program could have the greatest impact. That is exactly what has occurred, Baruch Hashem!
Q: Every husband has obligations to his wife. Every husband should have feelings of gratitude toward his wife. But the gratitude you have for your wife is something unique. She dedicated her life to battling for your freedom in a way that's virtually unprecedented.
A: I can't imagine how I would have survived emotionally or physically, 30 years in prison, without her devotion and mesirus nefesh on my behalf.
She surrounded me with chessed when I was in prison and provided me with a degree of protection and level of devotion which I never knew could exist.
She absolutely was fearless in terms of where she would go or what she would do or who she would speak to or lobby on my behalf.
But, unfortunately, she became a lightning rod for everyone who was either afraid of my case or who opposed it, or who regarded me as a threat to their standing in American society. Consequently, she spent too much of her time fending off attacks from people and quarters that really should never have presented such problems to her, both here in the United States and in Israel. Indeed, so many of the same people who aided, supported and facilitated the activities of other high-profile Jewish prisoners were the same people who slammed the door in Esther's face and slandered and maligned her wantonly.
Q: Why did these Jewish leaders and activists slander her?
A: The lies and slander were intended to damage Esther's credibility in order to silence her. These people realized that Esther was my presence in the real world. She was my voice on the outside. They did everything possible to silence Esther, only in order to silence me. As I live and breathe now, and I sit here in front of you, it is clear that all of these evil efforts to silence my wife did not succeed. Baruch Hashem!
Q: Have you had any more positive experiences with the American Jewish community?
A: Yes! The amcha, the everyday average Jews that Esther and I encounter, have been wonderful — steadfast in their search for the truth, and dedicated to tefillah to save my life. Now I need everyone's help to save Esther's life.
I am asking all of Klal Yisrael, both here in the U.S. and in Eretz HaKodesh, l'harbot b'tefillah [to increase their prayers] for Esther Yocheved bat Raizel Bracha for a refuah sheleimah and a hachlamah meheirah!
I should add that it was our Rav, Harav Mordechai Eliyahu, zt"l, who taught me that the two most precious inspirations in my life, Esther Yocheved and Eretz Yisrael have the same rashei tevot (alef-yud). The Rav indicated that that means that an outpouring of tefillah for Esther Yocheved will bless and benefit Eretz Yisrael at the same time. Who knows, perhaps the Eibershter chose my wife to suffer this machalah in order to generate enough tefillah not only for her but for the redemption of the Land as well.
Q: What kind of help do you need from the government of Israel?
A: I need help from Prime Minister Netanyahu so that I can take care of my wife. My current draconian parole conditions do not permit me to be the kind of caregiver that Esther desperately needs at this time as she goes through months of intense chemotherapy followed by surgery.
Q: Please explain.
A: Here are just a few examples that are understood by most people. My parole conditions prevent me from accompanying Esther to her doctors' appointments in a timely manner. I have to give 72 hours' notice for each and every appointment, and ask for official permission to leave Manhattan and go to wherever the doctors are located. The same is true for her chemotherapy. I can't accompany her unless I get special written permission each time. These permissions are not automatically approved. They have to be negotiated every single time, and they can be denied without explanation at any time. This situation keeps us fearful and off-balance and adds a severe burden to an already extremely stressful situation.
Another example of a restriction that impedes my ability to take care of Esther is my 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew. If Esther needs something after 7 p.m., I cannot go out of the house to get it. I cannot get medicine for her after 7 p.m., nor can I spontaneously act on any medical emergency for her when the curfew is in effect. These are just two examples, the tip of the iceberg so to speak, of how my unjustified parole conditions are not only embittering our life now but are also making it impossible for me to adequately take care of my wife now.
Q: What can Prime Minister Netanyahu do to help?
A: I have appealed to him privately and also in my Channel 12 appearance. I have asked him to please call President Trump and appeal to him to terminate my parole. I've already served four years as a model parolee, and the urgency of the situation requires compassion and humane consideration.
Q: What would termination of your parole do?
A: It would lift all of the parole restrictions. I could then take care of my wife at this critical time in a responsible and spontaneous manner.
It would also make it possible for Esther and me to go home to Israel as soon as she is well enough to travel again, after her chemo and her surgery.
Her final recovery would be in the Land, which has its own blessings and healings to offer.
Just looking forward to going home at the end of her treatment ordeal would vastly improve her morale at this time, and mine too. Our wonderful oncologist, the wise and deeply caring Dr. Yashar Hirshaut, tells us that Esther's morale is critical to her complete recovery.
Q: Do you believe that the Prime Minister will intervene with President Trump?
A: B'ezrat Hashem, he has promised to do so. B'zechut all of the tefillot and techinot of Klal Yisrael, may Hashem crown the Prime Minister's efforts with success!
Q: Amen v'amen! Hatzlachah rabbah and a refuah sheleimah! ________________________________________ IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis
Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on Arab-Israeli relations
On the Brother's first day in Krakow, we start with the walking Jewish tour.
There are seven synagogues in this area including the famous Ramu synagogue. However there are no active Jews, so they sit empty. I went to the Ramu on Thursday morning the 29th and I and a Hassid were the only ones there. Luckily Chabad davening in an old warehouse nearby saved the day. The Jewish area is called Kazimierz and was a separate area. The Ghetto they created was in an area across the river called Podgorze
What determines the date of Rosh Hashanah? Is Rosh Hashanah a Sabbath? Can you work on Rosh Hashanah? Why is Rosh Hashanah 2 days?
What determines the date of Rosh Hashanah?
Duration and timing. Rosh Hashanah occurs 163 days after the first day of Passover (Pesach). In terms of the Gregorian calendar, the earliest date on which Rosh Hashanah can fall is September 5, as happened in 1842, 1861, 1899 and 2013.
Rosh Hashanah is called the Jewish New Year, and this year it begins at sundown, Sept. 29. ... The day now called Rosh Hashanah has come to be a day leading to the holiday of Yom Kippur, which is traditionally observed as a time of self-examination and repentance.
Is Rosh Hashanah a business day? Rosh Hashana (or Rosh Hashanah) covers two of the 10 High Holy days that conclude with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Some sources say that the early Jewish calendar had four New Years, corresponding the seasons, with Rosh Hashana being one of the New Years.
What is Rosh Hashanah and how is it celebrated?Praying in synagogue, personal reflection, and hearing the shofar. Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה), literally meaning the "head [of] the year", is the Jewish New Year. ... Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration that begins on the first day of Tishrei, which is the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year.
Can you work on Rosh Hashanah?Those 10 days end with Yom Kippur, literally meaning the day of repentance and the holiest Jewish holiday. ... As with the Sabbath, Orthodox Jews are not allowed to use electricity or work during Rosh Hashanah, which helps with the reflection element, although the rules are slightly more lax when it comes to carrying.
Do you say Happy Yom Kippur?The best greeting to give to someone observing Yom Kippur in English is "have an easy fast." For those who are not fasting, but are observing the Yom Kippur, you can wish them a "Good Yuntif, or Yom Tov" which is Yiddish and Hebrew, respectively, for "Have a good holy day."
What food do they eat on Rosh Hashanah?These traditional Rosh Hashanah foods are rich in meaning and symbolism. How many of these stories did you know?
Apples and Honey. Apples and honey are almost synonymous with Rosh Hashanah. ...
New Fruit. ...
Honey Cake. ...
Couscous with seven vegetables. ...
Leeks, chard or spinach. ...
Do you wish someone Happy Rosh Hashanah?Rosh Hashanah means Jewish families around the world are getting ready to usher in the Jewish New Year. ... If you'd like to wish a Jewish friend a happy new year, the traditional greeting is "shana tova," which literally means "good year."
What is the difference between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur?Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is two days long. Yom Kippur is the day of atonement. ... Repentance is a theme in both holidays, but it is the central theme of Yom Kippur whereas it is not the only theme in the Rosh Hashanah celebration, which also involves well-wishes for a positive, sweet new year.
Can I drink water on Yom Kippur?The elderly, ill or those who are pregnant are instructed not to fast at all, but for those healthy enough to spend the 25-hour fast without food or drink, strict rules do apply. According to Orthodox Judaism, all eating and drinking is forbidden on Yom Kippur — water included.
Can you brush your teeth? It is not permitted to brush teeth, rinse out your mouth or shower and bathe on Yom Kippur
Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה), literally meaning the "head [of] the year", is the JewishNew Year. The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah (יוֹם תְּרוּעָה), literally "day of shouting or blasting". It is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days (יָמִים נוֹרָאִים Yamim Nora'im. "Days of Awe") specified by Leviticus 23:23–32 that occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere.
Rosh Hashanah A shofar, symbol of the Rosh Hashanah holiday Official name ראש השנהAlso called Jewish New Year Observed byJews
Jewish Observances Praying in synagogue, personal reflection, and hearing the shofar. Begins Start of first day of Tishrei Ends End of second day of Tishrei Date1 Tishrei 2019 date Sunset, 29 September – nightfall,
Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration that begins on the first day of Tishrei, which is the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year. In contrast to the ecclesiastical year, where the first month Nisan, the Passover month, marks Israel's exodus from Egypt, Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the civil year, according to the teachings of Judaism, and is the traditional anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman according to the Hebrew Bible, and the inauguration of humanity's role in God's world.
Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a cleaned-out ram's horn), as prescribed in the Torah, following the prescription of the Hebrew Bible to "raise a noise" on Yom Teruah. Its rabbinical customs include attending synagogue services and reciting special liturgy about teshuva, as well as enjoying festive meals. Eating symbolic foods is now a tradition, such as apples dipped in honey, hoping to evoke a sweet new year.
Rosh" is the Hebrew word for "head", "ha" is the definite article ("the"), and "shanah" means year. Thus "Rosh HaShanah" means 'head [of] the year', referring to the Jewish day of new year.
The term "Rosh Hashanah" in its current meaning does not appear in the Torah. Leviticus 23:24 refers to the festival of the first day of the seventh month as "Zikhron Teru'ah" ("[a] memorial [with the] blowing [of horns]"); it is also referred to in the same part of Leviticus as 'שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתוֹן' (shabbat shabbaton) or ultimate Sabbath or meditative rest day, and a "holy day to God". These same words are commonly used in the Psalms to refer to the anointed days. Numbers 29:1 calls the festival Yom Teru'ah, ("Day [of] blowing [the horn]"), and symbolizes several subjects, such as the Binding of Isaac whereby a ram was sacrificed instead of Isaac, and the animal sacrifices, including rams, that were to be performed.
(The term Rosh Hashanah appears once in the Bible in Ezekiel 40:1 where it means generally the time of the "beginning of the year" or is possibly a reference to Yom Kippur, but the phrase may also refer to the Hebrew month of Nisan in the spring, especially in light of Exodus 12:2, Exodus 13:3–4 where the spring month of Aviv, later renamed Nisan, is stated as being "the first month of the year" and Ezekiel 45:18 where "the first month" unambiguously refers to Nisan, the month of Passover, as made plain by Ezekiel 45:21.)
In the Jewish prayer-books (i.e. the Siddur and Machzor), Rosh Hashanah is also called "Yom Hazikaron" ([a] day [of] the remembrance), not to be confused with the modern Israeli holiday of the same name, which falls in spring.
The Hebrew Rosh HaShanah is etymologically related to the ArabicRas as-Sanah, the name Muslims give for the Islamic New Year.
Rosh Hashanah marks the start of a new year in the Hebrew calendar (one of four "new year" observances that define various legal "years" for different purposes as explained in the Mishnah and Talmud). It is the new year for people, animals, and legal contracts. The Mishnah also sets this day aside as the new year for calculating calendar years, shmita and yovel years. Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of man.
The origin of the Hebrew New Year is connected to the beginning of the economic year in the agricultural societies of the ancient Near East. The New Year was the beginning of the cycle of sowing, growth, and harvest; the harvest was marked by its own set of major agricultural festivals. The Semites generally set the beginning of the new year in autumn, while other ancient civilizations chose spring for that purpose, such as the Persians or Greeks; the primary reason was agricultural in both cases, the time of sowing the seed and bringing in the harvest.
In Jewish law, four major New Years are observed, each one marking a beginning of sorts. The lunar month Nisan (usually corresponding to the months March–April in the Gregorian calendar) is when a new year is added to the reign of Jewish kings, and it marks the start of the year for the three Jewish pilgrimages. Its injunction is expressly stated in the Hebrew Bible: "This month shall be unto you the beginning of months" (Exo. 12:2). However, ordinary years, Sabbatical years, Jubilees, and dates inscribed on legal deeds and contracts are reckoned differently; such years begin on the first day of the lunar month Tishri (usually corresponding to the months September–October in the Gregorian calendar). Their injunction is expressly stated in the Hebrew Bible: "Three times in the year you shall keep a feast unto me… the feast of unleavened bread (Passover)… the feast of harvest (Shavuot)… and the feast of ingathering (Sukkot) which is at the departing of the year" (Exo. 23:14–16). "At the departing of the year" implies that the new year begins here.
The reckoning of Tishri as the beginning of the Jewish year began with the early Egyptians and was preserved by the Hebrew nation, being also alluded to in the Hebrew Bible (Genesis 7:11) when describing the Great Deluge at the time of Noah. This began during the "second month" (Marheshvan) counting from Tishri, a view that has largely been accepted by the Sages of Israel.
The Mishnah contains the second known reference to Rosh Hashanah as the "day of judgment". In the Talmud tractate on Rosh Hashanah, it states that three books of account are opened on Rosh Hashanah, wherein the fate of the wicked, the righteous, and those of the intermediate class are recorded. The names of the righteous are immediately inscribed in the book of life and they are sealed "to live". The intermediate class is allowed a respite of ten days, until Yom Kippur, to reflect, repent and become righteous; the wicked are "blotted out of the book of the living forever".
In Jewish liturgy, Rosh Hashanah leads to Yom Kippur, which is described as "the day of judgment" (Yom ha-Din) and "the day of remembrance" (Yom ha-Zikkaron). Some midrashic descriptions depict God as sitting upon a throne, while books containing the deeds of all humanity are opened for review, and each person passes in front of Him for evaluation of his or her deeds. The Talmud provides three central ideas behind the day:
"The Holy One said, 'on Rosh Hashanah recite before Me [verses of] Sovereignty, Remembrance, and Shofar blasts (malchiyot, zichronot, shofrot): Sovereignty so that you should make Me your King; Remembrance so that your remembrance should rise up before Me. And through what? Through the Shofar.' (Rosh Hashanah 16a, 34b)" This is reflected in the prayers composed by the classical rabbinic sages for Rosh Hashanah found in all machzorim where the theme of the prayers is the strongest theme is the "coronation" of God as King of the universe in preparation for the acceptance of judgments that will follow on that day, symbolized as "written" into a Divine book of judgments, that then hang in the balance for ten days waiting for all to repent, then they will be "sealed" on Yom Kippur. The assumption is that everyone was sealed for life and therefore the next festival is Sukkot (Tabernacles) that is referred to as "the time of our joy" (z'man simchateinu).
The Yamim Nora'im are preceded by the month of Elul, during which Jews are supposed to begin a self-examination and repentance, a process that culminates in the ten days of the Yamim Nora'im known as beginning with Rosh Hashanah and ending with the holiday of Yom Kippur.
The shofar is traditionally blown each morning for the entire month of Elul, the month preceding Rosh Hashanah. The sound of the shofar is intended to awaken the listeners from their "slumbers" and alert them to the coming judgment. The shofar is not blown on Shabbat.
In the period leading up to the Yamim Nora'im (Hebrew, "days of awe"), penitential prayers, called selichot, are recited.
Rosh Hashanah is also the day of "Yom Hadin", known as Judgment day. On Yom Hadin, three books are opened, the book of life, for the righteous among the nations, the book of death, for the most evil who receive the seal of death, and the third book for the ones living in doubts with non-evil sins.
The shofar is blown at various instances during the Rosh Hashanah prayers, with a total of 100 blasts over the day.
Rosh Hashanah eve
The day before Rosh Hashanah day is known as Erev Rosh Hashanah ("Rosh Hashanah eve"). It is the 29th day of the Hebrew month of Elul, ending at sundown, when Rosh Hashanah commences. Some communities perform Hatarat nedarim (a nullification of vows) after the morning prayer services. The mood becomes festive but serious in anticipation of the new year and the synagogue services.
Many Orthodox men immerse in a mikveh in honor of the coming day.
Rosh Hashanah occurs 163 days after the first day of Passover (Pesach). In terms of the Gregorian calendar, the earliest date on which Rosh Hashanah can fall is September 5, as happened in 1842, 1861, 1899 and 2013. The latest Gregorian date that Rosh Hashanah can occur is October 5, as happened in 1815, 1929 and 1967, and will happen again in 2043. After 2089, the differences between the Hebrew calendar and the Gregorian calendar will result in Rosh Hashanah falling no earlier than September 6. Starting in 2214, the new latest date will be October 6.
Although the Jewish calendar is based on the lunar cycle, so that the first day of each month originally began with the first sighting of a new moon, since the fourth century it has been arranged so that Rosh Hashanah never falls on a Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday.
The Torah defines Rosh Hashanah as a one-day celebration, and since days in the Hebrew calendar begin at sundown, the beginning of Rosh Hashanah is at sundown at the end of 29 Elul. The rules of the Hebrew calendar are designed such that the first day of Rosh Hashanah will never occur on the first, fourth, or sixth day of the Jewish week (i.e., Sunday, Wednesday, or Friday). Since the time of the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in 70 CE and the time of Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai, normative Jewish law appears to be that Rosh Hashanah is to be celebrated for two days, because of the difficulty of determining the date of the new moon. Nonetheless, there is some evidence that Rosh Hashanah was celebrated on a single day in Israel as late as the thirteenth century CE.Orthodox and Conservative Judaism now generally observe Rosh Hashanah for the first two days of Tishrei, even in Israel where all other Jewish holidays dated from the new moon last only one day. The two days of Rosh Hashanah are said to constitute "Yoma Arichtah" (Aramaic: "one long day"). In Reform Judaism, while most congregations in North America observe only the first day of Rosh Hashanah, some follow the traditional two-day observance as a sign of solidarity with other Jews worldwide.Karaite Jews, who do not recognize Rabbinic Jewish oral law and rely on their own understanding of the Torah, observe only one day on the first of Tishrei, since the second day is not mentioned in the Written Torah.
On Rosh Hashanah day, religious poems, called piyyutim, are added to the regular services. A special prayer book, the mahzor, is used on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (plural mahzorim). A number of additions are made to the regular service, most notably an extended repetition of the Amidah prayer for both Shacharit and Mussaf. The Shofar is blown during Mussaf at several intervals. (In many synagogues, even little children come and hear the Shofar being blown.) Biblical verses are recited at each point. According to the Mishnah, 10 verses (each) are said regarding kingship, remembrance, and the shofar itself, each accompanied by the blowing of the shofar. A variety of piyyutim, medieval penitential prayers, are recited regarding themes of repentance. The Alenu prayer is recited during the repetition of the Mussaf Amidah.
The MussafAmidah prayer on Rosh Hashanah is unique in that apart from the first and last 3 blessings, it contains 3 central blessings making a total of 9. These blessings are entitled "Malchuyot" (Kingship, and also includes the blessing for the holiness of the day as is in a normal Mussaf), "Zichronot" (Remembrance) and "Shofarot" (concerning the Shofar). Each section contains an introductory paragraph followed by selections of verses about the "topic". The verses are 3 from the Torah, 3 from the Ketuvim, 3 from the Nevi'im, and one more from the Torah. During the repetition of the Amidah, the Shofar is sounded (except on Shabbat) after the blessing that ends each section.
Rosh Hashanah meals usually include apples dipped in honey to symbolize a sweet new year. Other foods with a symbolic meaning may be served, depending on local minhag ("custom"), such as the head of a fish (to symbolize the prayer "let us be the head and not the tail").
Many communities hold a "Rosh Hashanah seder" during which blessings are recited over a variety of symbolic dishes. The blessings have the incipit "Yehi ratzon", meaning "May it be Thy will." In many cases, the name of the food in Hebrew or Aramaic represents a play on words (a pun). The Yehi Ratzon platter may include apples (dipped in honey, baked or cooked as a compote called mansanada); dates; pomegranates; black-eyed peas; pumpkin-filled pastries called rodanchas; leek fritters called keftedes de prasa; beets; and a whole fish with the head intact. It is also common to eat stuffed vegetables called legumbres yaprakes.
Some of the symbolic foods eaten are dates, black-eyed peas, leek, spinach and gourd, all of which are mentioned in the Talmud: "Let a man be accustomed to eat on New Year's Day gourds (קרא), and fenugreek (רוביא), leeks (כרתי), beet [leaves] (סילקא), and dates ( תמרי)." Pomegranates are used in many traditions, to symbolize being fruitful like the pomegranate with its many seeds. The use of apples dipped in honey, symbolizing a sweet year, is a late medieval Ashkenazi addition, though it is now almost universally accepted. Typically, round challah bread is served, to symbolize the cycle of the year. From ancient to quite modern age, lamb head or fish head were served. Nowadays, gefilte fish and lekach are commonly served by Ashkenazic Jews on this holiday. On the second night, new fruits are served to warrant inclusion of the shehecheyanu blessing.
The ritual of tashlikh is performed on the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah by Ashkenazic and most Sephardic Jews (but not by Spanish & Portuguese Jews or some Yemenites). Prayers are recited near natural flowing water, and one's sins are symbolically cast into the water. Many also have the custom to throw bread or pebbles into the water, to symbolize the "casting off" of sins. In some communities, if the first day of Rosh Hashanah occurs on Shabbat, tashlikh is postponed until the second day. The traditional service for tashlikh is recited individually and includes the prayer "Who is like unto you, O God...And You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea", and Biblical passages including Isaiah 11:9 ("They will not injure nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea") and Psalms118:5–9, Psalms 121 and Psalms 130, as well as personal prayers. Though once considered a solemn individual tradition, it has become an increasingly social ceremony practiced in groups. Tashlikh can be performed any time until Hoshana Rabba, and some Hasidic communities perform Tashlikh on the day before Yom Kippur.
The Hebrew common greeting on Rosh Hashanah is Shanah Tovah (Hebrew: שנה טובה) (pronounced [ʃaˈna toˈva]), which translated from Hebrew means "[have a] good year". Often Shanah Tovah Umetukah (Hebrew: שנה טובה ומתוקה), meaning "[have a] Good and Sweet Year", is used. In Yiddish the greeting is אַ גוט יאָר "a gut yor" ("a good year") or אַ גוט געבענטשט יאָר "a gut gebentsht yor" ("a good blessed year"). The formal Sephardic greeting is Tizku Leshanim Rabbot ("may you merit many years"), to which the answer is Ne'imot VeTovot ("pleasant and good ones"). Less formally, people wish each other "many years" in the local language.
A more formal greeting commonly used among religiously observant Jews is Ketivah VaChatimah Tovah (Hebrew: כְּתִיבָה וַחֲתִימָה טוֹבָה), which translates as "A good inscription and sealing [in the Book of Life]", or L'shanah tovah tikatevu v'tichatemu meaning "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year". After Rosh Hashanah ends, the greeting is changed to G'mar chatimah tovah (Hebrew: גמר חתימה טובה) meaning "A good final sealing", until Yom Kippur. After Yom Kippur is over, until Hoshana Rabbah, as Sukkot ends, the greeting is Gmar Tov (Hebrew: גְּמָר טוֹב), "a good conclusion".
The above describes three stages as the spiritual order of the month of Tishrei unfolds: On Rosh Hashanah Jewish tradition maintains that God opens the books of judgment of creation and all mankind starting from each individual person, so that what is decreed is first written in those books, hence the emphasis on the "ketivah" ("writing"). The judgment is then pending and prayers and repentance are required. Then on Yom Kippur, the judgment is "sealed" or confirmed (i.e. by the Heavenly Court), hence the emphasis is on the word "chatimah" ("sealed"). But the Heavenly verdict is still not final because there is still an additional hope that until Sukkot concludes God will deliver a final, merciful judgment, hence the use of "gmar" ("end") that is "tov" ("good").
Mulder, Otto (2003). Simon the High Priest in Sirach 50: An Exegetical Study of the Significance of Simon the High Priest As Climax to the Praise of the Fathers in Ben Sira's Concept of the History of Israel. Brill. p. 170. ISBN9789004123168.
Josephus writes in Antiquities of the Jews (1.3.§ 3) concerning the "second month", when the flood of waters appeared in the days of Noah: "This calamity happened in the six-hundredth year of Noah's government, in the second month, called by the Macedonians Dius, but by the Hebrews Marchesuan; for so did they order their year in Egypt; but Moses appointed that Nisan, which is the same with Xanthicus, should be the first month for their festivals, because he brought them out of Egypt in that month: so that this month began the year as to all the solemnities they observed to the honour of God, although he preserved the original order of the months as to selling and buying, and other ordinary affairs."
Babylonian Talmud, Rosh Hashana 11b–12a; Rabbi Yehoshua says that the flood was in the second month counting from Nisan, but Rabbi Eliezer says that it was in the second month counting from Tishri, and the Sages agree with Rabbi Eliezer; Aramaic Targum of Pseudo-Jonathan ben Uzziel on Genesis 7:11: "In the six-hundredth year of the life of Noah, in the second month, being the month of Marheshvan, for hitherto they did not count the [lunar] months except from Tishri, insofar that it is the New Year for the completion of the universe."