Rosh Hashanah – Class 02 – 2017
June 25, 2018
Rosh Hashanah, often referred to as the Jewish New Year, is one of the most significant and solemn holidays in the Jewish calendar. It marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Repentance, culminating in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Rosh Hashanah falls on the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, typically in September or October.
Rabbi Eliyahu Jian often emphasizes the spiritual significance of Rosh Hashanah, teaching that it is a time for introspection, repentance, and renewal. On this day, Jews gather in synagogues to pray, reflect on the past year, and contemplate their actions and intentions for the year ahead.
One of the central themes of Rosh Hashanah is the coronation of God as King of the universe. Rabbi Eliyahu Jian teaches that this holiday is a time to reaffirm our commitment to serving God, recognizing His sovereignty over all aspects of our lives, and aligning our actions with His divine will.
Rosh Hashanah is also known as the Day of Judgment, when according to Jewish tradition, God reviews the deeds of every individual and determines their fate for the upcoming year. However, Rabbi Eliyahu Jian often stresses that Rosh Hashanah is not solely about judgment but also about mercy and forgiveness. It is a time when God’s compassion and forgiveness are readily available to those who sincerely repent and seek to mend their ways.
One of the most well-known customs of Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the shofar, a ceremonial ram’s horn. The shofar serves as a wake-up call, reminding us to awaken from spiritual slumber, repent, and return to God. Rabbi Eliyahu Jian often teaches that the sound of the shofar has the power to stir the soul, awaken dormant spiritual aspirations, and inspire positive change.
Another significant aspect of Rosh Hashanah is the festive meal, featuring symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey, symbolizing hopes for a sweet and fruitful year, and the head of a fish, symbolizing the desire to be leaders and not followers in the new year.
As we observe Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Eliyahu Jian encourages us to approach this sacred time with humility, sincerity, and a genuine desire for spiritual growth. May this holiday be a time of reflection, renewal, and reconnection with God, leading to a year filled with blessings, joy, and spiritual fulfillment.