Rosh Hashanah
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CREATION & NEW YEAR

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is one of Judaism’s holiest days. Meaning “head of the year” or “first of the year,” the festival begins on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, which falls during September or October. Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the two “High Holy Days” in the Jewish religion.
DATABASES
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is one of Judaism’s holiest days. Meaning “head of the year” or “first of the year,” the festival begins on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, which falls during September or October. Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of introspection and repentance that culminates in the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the two “High Holy Days” in the Jewish religion.
What: It is the birthday of the universe, the day G‑d created Adam and Eve, and it’s celebrated as the head of the Jewish year.

When: The first two days of the Jewish new year, Tishrei 1 and 2, beginning at sundown on the eve of Tishrei 1. Rosh Hashanah 2021 begins at sundown on September 6 and continues through nightfall on September 8 (see more details here).

How: Candle lighting in the evenings, festive meals with sweet delicacies during the night and day, prayer services that include the sounding of the ram’s horn (shofar) on both mornings, and desisting from creative work. See our calendar for details.
Rosh Hashanah , the Jewish new year, is a fall holiday, taking place at the beginning of the month of Tishrei , which is actually the seventh month of the Jewish year (counting from Nisan in the spring). It is both a time of rejoicing and of serious introspection, a time to celebrate the completion of another year while also taking stock of one’s life.

The High Holiday Period
The two days of Rosh Hashanah usher in the Ten Days of Repentance (Aseret Yemei Teshuvah), also known as the Days of Awe (Yamim Noraim), which culminate in the major fast day of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The Days of Awe represent the climax of a longer process. Starting at the beginning of the previous month, called Elul, the shofar is traditionally sounded at the conclusion of the morning service. A ram’s horn that makes a trumpet-like sound, the shofar is intended as a wake-up call to prepare for the Tishrei holidays. One week before Rosh Hashanah, special petitionary prayers called Selichot are added to the ritual. Rosh Hashanah itself is also known as Yom Hadin or the Day of Judgment, on which God opens the Books of Life and Death, which are then sealed on Yom Kippur.
Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה‎), literally meaning "head [of] the year", is the Jewish New 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"), as specified by Leviticus 23:23–25, that occur in the late summer/early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere.

Rosh Hashanah is a two-day observance and celebration that begins on the first day of Tishrei, which is the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year. In contrast to the ecclesiastical lunar new year on the first day of the first month Nisan, the spring Passover month which 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 as well as the inauguration of humanity's role in God's world.

Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a cleaned-out ram's horn)...
Rabbi Eliezer taught: the world was created on the twenty-fifth of Elul… This implies that Adam was created on Rosh Hashanah. In the first hour [of that day] the idea arose [in the Divine mind to create humankind]… in the ninth [hour Adam and Eve were] commanded [not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge], in the tenth [hour they] transgressed the commandment, in the eleventh [hour they were] judged, and in the twelfth pardoned by the blessed Holy One. The blessed Holy One said to Adam: “This will be a sign for your descendants. Just as you stood before me in judgment on this day and were pardoned, so too will they stand before me to be judged on this day and be pardoned.”
 — Pesikta d’Rav Kahana 23:1

There are two central myths associated with Rosh Hashanah. One is the tradition that the world was created in the month of Tishrei (see TB Rosh Hashanah 10b). The other is that God judges the deeds of all people on the first of Tishrei (see, for example, Mishnah Rosh Hashanah 1:2). The midrash cited above from Pesikta d’Rav Kahana merges both myths into one story, but makes the judgment myth primary. It anchors the judgment in the creation story, but in order to do so must move the beginning of creation into the month of Elul, which runs counter to earlier rabbinic traditions that claim that the world was created in Tishrei.
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