September 8, 2010, - 12:03 pm
Tonight, at sundown, Rosh HaShanah–the Jewish New Year–begins. One of the two most important Jewish holidays (the other is Yom Kippur), it marks the beginning of the Jewish “Ten Days of Repentance,” during which we Jews repent for our sins and pray for a good new year. We believe that on Rosh HaShanah, G-d inscribes our fate for the year, and that at the end of Yom Kippur, that fate is sealed. It is one of the holidays that unites Jews around the world because most Jews–no matter how non-religious–celebrate at least part of this holiday in some way.
On Rosh HaShanah, we traditionally eat apples with honey (and other items with honey) to signify that we seek a new year that is as sweet as that uber-sweet combination. (My favorite apples, BTW, are McIntosh.) The holiday ends at nightfall on Friday Night (at which point the Jewish Sabbath begins), so I will be out of blog commission at sundown tonight until Saturday Night.
During two days of intense prayer at synagogue, we hear the blowing of a ram’s horn (called a “shofar”), which makes several different kinds of sounds we are required to hear. A little bit more about the Jewish New Year excerpted from my post on this in a previous year. My prayers will be the same as they were then (with a few added extras, now that we are stuck in the Obama era):
On Rosh HaShanah, a two day holiday, we pray in synagogue for a good new year of peace, health, and prosperity for ourselves, our people, and the safety of our country, the USA, which has brought us such great opportunity to live in peace and freedom. We also pray for peace in Israel, America’s most loyal ally and the only democracy in the Middle East, too. Unlike in many of America’s (and the world’s) mosques–where hatred of America, Christians, and Jews is the order of the day in sermons, prayers, the Koran, and the Hadiths–there isn’t a single prayer we have that mentions Islam or Muslims or harm to anyone.
Man Blowing Sounds Out of the Shofar
Given the continuing escalation in Islamic intolerance and violence, we also hope that, while we are praying and not bothering anyone, our synagogues are secure from all of those “lone,” “mentally disturbed,” “non-terror related” Muslims who attack Jewish institutions, when and where they know there will be a large gathering of Jews. We know that in this country–where after 9/11 the Bush Justice Dept. started a special program devoted only to Justice for Muslims and Arabs–authorities aren’t really paying as much attention to the safety and civil rights of Christians and Jews [as they are to the “real” victims of 9/11 (the “Religion of Peace” brotherhood)].
I will be praying that our government is restored to people in touch with the real world, that the PC forces running the Depts. of Justice and Homeland Security, the FBI and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) will be replaced with common-sense law enforcement officials who care about justice, safety, and security of America, who care about protecting our borders and stopping the malefactors already inside the gate. I’ll be praying for the end to PC movies and TV shows painting Jews and Christians as the villains and extremist Muslims who support terrorism as kind, nice victims of prejudice. Those are just some of the things I’ll be praying for.
On Rosh HaShanah, we also hear hundreds of noises blown from a ram’s horn known as a shofar (can be the horn of certain other animals, too). The shofar is one of the most prominent symbols in Judaism. It’s used like a trumpet, takes a special skill to use, and is the horn that was blown by Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren when the Western Wall in Jerusalem was liberated from Islamists in 1967. Its sounds symbolize alarm and justice, among many other things.
Oh, and I’ll also be praying that Barack Obama’s incompetence and aims come to an end soon and that Republicans find genuine conservative, compelling, strong leadership to replace and end his disastrous policies. That’s a necessity for America as we know it to survive. But, so far, I don’t see that the Republicans will be that much different than they were when they were previously in leadership of the House and Senate.
To all of my Jewish readers and friends, Shanah Tovah u’Metukah KeTapuach B’Dvash–May You Have a Good New Year, As Sweet as an Apple with Honey. Ktivah v’Chatimah Tovah–May You Be Inscribed and Sealed for a Good [Year].
Thanks to all of my readers–Gentile and Jew–who sent me e-mails and i- and e-cards wishing me a Happy New Year. Right Back at Ya!
I hope you have a happy and healthy new year.
Tags: Jewish, Jewish holiday, Judaism, Rosh HaShanah