Let the New Year begin

This evening at sundown the New Year began according to the Jewish calendar. Today is known as Rosh HaShanna — the head or first of the year.

Late this afternoon I went to the Western Wall to observe some of the festivities of the beginning of the New Year.

The Western Wall on Rosh HaShanna. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Western Wall on Rosh HaShanna. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Finally, when the sun went down just a few minutes after 7 p.m., the new year had arrived to the sound of chanting and dancing.

The Western Wall at the beginning of Rosh HaShanna. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Western Wall at the beginning of Rosh HaShanna. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Now in the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall also have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work. It will be to you a day for blowing trumpets. (Numbers 29:1 NAU)

Blow the trumpet at the new moon, At the full moon, on our feast day.
(Psalm 81:3 NAU)

We expect to hear the blowing of shophars during the next couple of days.

No work is to be done this day. Our hotel was again filled with Jews celebrating the New Year. The head waiter told me there were approximately 900 served in the dining room this evening.

Modern Jews no longer follow the commands of the following verses in Number 29 requiring the offering of a burnt offering, a grain offering, a drink offering, etc.

The horn or trumpet under consideration is the shophar or ram’s horn. For more about the ram’s horn, see here.

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