Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah History

The name of the month, Tishrei, is of Babylonian origin and means "Beginning". Tishrei is the first month of the Jewish year.

In the Bible, Malachi I, Ch. VIII, v.2, we find another name for the month, "Yerach Eitanim" - the "moon of the stalwarts" - because our forefathers were born in this month - and they are the pillars of the world.

The zodiac sign for this month is scales or balances, presumably because day and night are of equal length. According to tradition, too, this is the month when the deeds of Creation are judged.

The first and second of Tishrei are the festival of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, ie, the day from which we calculate dates, and the beginning of the Ten Days of Penitence, also known as "Ben Kesseh Le'Assor", where Kesseh refers to Rosh Hashana and Assor to the tenth day, Yom Kippur, i.e. the "period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur".

Rosh Hashana is also - in itself - "The Day of Judgment".

On Rosh Hashana, too, our foremothers - Sarah and Rivka - conceived, as did Hannah, mother of the prophet Shemuel [Samuel].