The Jewish people have often been cast as the proverbial “scapegoat.” When millions died during the Black Plague, the Jews were accused of poisoning the wells. Blood libels accusing Jews of drinking the blood of gentile children (frequently associated with Passover) were all too common throughout history. Medieval (and not so medieval) rulers often blamed the Jews for their own calamitous economic policies.
On Rosh Hashana, God judges the world (and all the people therein), but their fates are not sealed until 10 days later, on Yom Kippur. It is during these ten days that we must present a compelling case of our worthiness to the heavenly court.
Jewish prayer is a complex, multi-layered activity. The sages refer to prayer as avodah she’balev, service, the same term used to describe the sacrificial service in the Holy Temple. However, since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E., prayer has become our primary means of “connecting” with God.
HurryDate® is hosting not one, but two Jewish speed dating parties in LA that pack a serious dating punch! Sign up for one of the parties in early October and you’ll not only meet some cute Jewish eligibles, but you’ll also get some quick and easy tips from online dating guru (and JMag® contributor), Dear Mrs D at the event!
The Fast of Gedaliah is observed to commemorate the murder of Gedaliah the son of Achikam, which is described in the last chapter of the Second Book of Kings. This murder resulted in the exile of the Jews who remained in Judea after the Babylonian conquest.
In order to fully understand Yom Kippur, it is important to look deeper at the Jewish concept of teshuva, “repentance.”
Since Rosh Hashana is the Day of Judgment, it is customary to eat simanim,* foods with symbolic meanings that invoke God’s blessing. We also recite a short prayer before eating them. While apple with honey is a universal custom, other symbolic foods eaten depend on family custom. Here are some examples.
The Rosh Hashana tashlich ceremony is a tradition that is dear throughout the many diverse Jewish communities. Tashlich literally translates to “You will throw.” But what, exactly, is it?
We make promises all the time. We swear that we are going to do something, and then hope that we will be in a position to fulfill the vow.
In neither of the two Torah references to the holiday of Rosh Hashana (Leviticus 23:23-25, Numbers 29:1), is there a specific mention of the shofar, the ram’s horn. Only the Teruah, the sound made by the shofar, is noted. So why do we only use the shofar on Rosh Hashana when the same sound can be made on another instrument?