Rosh Hashanah

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    Syllabus: GS1/Culture

    Context

    • The Prime Minister of India extended greetings to Jewish people around the world on Rosh Hashanah.

    About Rosh Hashanah

    • It is a Hebrew phrase that means ‘the head of the year‘, and followed as  a ‘new year day’ in Judaism. It begins on the first day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar.
    • As it is celebrated for 48 hours, it is also called ‘yoma arichta’, meaning ‘a long day’.

    Origin

    • It is not explicitly mentioned in the Torah (Judaism’s founding religious text) and appears under different names in the Bible.
    • However, Torah mentions a sacred occasion that starts on the first day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar around the time Rosh Hashanah is scheduled.
    • Though the holiday was likely well established by the sixth century B.C., the phrase “Rosh Hashanah” shows up for the first time in the Mishna, a Jewish code of law compiled in 200 A.D.

    How is Rosh Hashanah celebrated?

    • Jewish people blow a Shofar, a curved ram’s horn, and pray near a body of water in a Tashlich ceremony.
    • They eat apples and honey together to symbolise a sweet new year, and eat pomegranate seeds that represent the 613 mitzvot, or commandments.

    Source: PIB