Hebrew Studies students explain the Jewish New Year Holidays

Rosh Hashanah Ref: https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/29363650
NEWS / 6 September 2021

On Monday 6th September, 5th Year Hebrew Studies students explained the Jewish New Year Holidays in an online assembly broadcast across the schools through Teams.

In brief the Jewish New Year begins with Rosh Hashanah (this year on Monday 6th September). It is not a fireworks and drinks type of New Year, it is a very serious time. Jewish people spend a lot of time in synagogue praying on these two days. It is a time to stop and think about our behaviour - to try to forgive others and to ask for forgiveness. Foods eaten at this time of the year are very symbolic - the main one being apple dipped in honey. This symbolises sweetness.

The following week is Yom Kippur (Thursday, 16th September). It is the holiest day of the Jewish Year - the Day of Atonement. This is difficult as it means 25 hours of fasting without food or drink mostly spent in the synagogue praying.

Sukkot follows on 22nd and 23rd September. It is a seven day holiday with an outdoor twist - an outdoor room or hut called a sukkah is built. The main tradition on Sukkot is to make a blessing over a special group of four items: a palm branch called a lulav, a citron fruit like a lemon called an etrog, and leaves from myrtle and willow trees.

The final two day holiday is on 28th and 29th September called Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. The main event is the annual completion of reading the Torah scrolls. There is lots of singing and dancing, with flags and sweets for children.

Noam, Sarah, Jonah (5th Year Hebrew Studies students)

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