“The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice and the desire for personal independence, these are the features of the Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it.” - Albert Einstein
- Israeli music
- Kosher snacks
Conversation about Hannukah celebration and traditions inIsrael and Canada and candle making workshop. In-person event.
October 13, 6:30 pm
9699 Bathurst St, Maple
Conversation about Sukkot celebration and traditions inIsrael and Canada, as well as a paint night workshop. In-person event.
price $10 (for CRJ members), light refreshment will be provided
*no experience required
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is a fall holiday,taking place at the beginning of the month of Tishrei, which is actually theseventh month of the Jewish year (counting from Nisan in the spring). It isboth a time of rejoicing and of serious introspection, a time to celebrate thecompletion of another year while also taking stock of one’s life.
The two days of Rosh Hashanah usher in the Ten Days of Repentance (Aseret Yemei Teshuvah), also known as the Days of Awe (YamimNoraim), which culminate in the major fast day of Yom Kippur, the Day ofAtonement. The Days of Awe represent the climax of a longer process. Startingat the beginning of the previous month, called Elul, the shofar istraditionally sounded at the conclusion of the morning service. A ram’s hornthat makes a trumpet-like sound, the shofar is intended as a wake-up call toprepare for the Tishrei holidays. One week before Rosh Hashanah, specialpetitionary prayers called Selichot are added to the ritual. Rosh Hashanahitself is also known as Yom Hadin or the Day of Judgment, on which God opensthe Books of Life and Death, which are then sealed on Yom Kippur.
The origins of Rosh Hashanah may be sought in a royalenthronement ritual from biblical times, though the Bible itself never mentionsthe "New Year” or "Day of Judgment” aspects of the holiday. Eventhough Rosh Hashanah falls in the seventh month, later rabbinic traditiondecided to designate it the beginning of the year. Although the origin of thistradition may have been adopted from the Babylonians, the rabbis imbued it withJewish significance as the anniversary of the day on which the world wascreated, or of the day on which humanity was created. Another explanation canbe found in the significance of Tishrei as the seventh month, hence the Sabbathof the year.
The challah (traditional bread) that is eaten for the RoshHashanah season is round, symbolizing the eternal cycle of life. The challah istraditionally dipped in honey, symbolizing the hopes for a sweet New Year. Thesame is done with apples, which are made even sweeter with the addition ofhoney. Some people avoid eating nuts at this time, since according to asomewhat convoluted gematria (mystical numerical interpretation) the Hebrewwords for nut (egoz) and sin (het) have the same numerical value.
Yom Kippur,is the Day of Atonement, communal prayer and self-deprivation, the observanceof the holiday is centered within the community.
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year—theday on which we are closest to G‑d and to the quintessence of our own souls. Itis the Day of Atonement—"For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you,that you be cleansed from all your sins before G‑d”.
For nearly twenty-six hours—from severalminutes before sunset on 9 Tishrei to after nightfall on 10 Tishrei—we "afflictour souls”: we abstain from food and drink, do not wash or anoint our bodies,do not wear leather footwear, and abstain from marital relations.
Symbolizing the spiritual purity toward whichwe strive, it is traditional to wear white clothes on Yom Kippur. In addition, Yom Kippur is the only day of theyear when one wears one’s tallit (prayershawl) all day, rather than just in the morning.
History of Yom Kippur: Just months after thepeople of Israel left Egypt in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), theysinned by worshipping a golden calf. Moses ascended Mount Sinai and prayed toG‑d to forgive them. After two 40-day stints on the mountain, full Divine favorwas obtained. The day Moses came down the mountain (the 10th of Tishrei) was tobe known forevermore as the Day of Atonement—Yom Kippur. That year, the peoplebuilt the Tabernacle, a portable home for G‑d. The Tabernacle was a center forprayers and sacrificial offerings. The service in the Tabernacle climaxed onYom Kippur, when the High Priest would perform a specially prescribed service.Highlights of this service included offering incense in the Holy of Holies(where the ark was housed) and the lottery with two goats—one of which wasbrought as a sacrifice, the other being sent out to the wilderness (Azazel). Whilethe High Priest generally wore ornate golden clothing, on Yom Kippur, he wouldimmerse in a mikvah and don plain white garments to perform this service. Thispractice continued for hundreds of years, throughout the time of the firstTemple in Jerusalem, which was built by Solomon, and the second Temple, whichwas built by Ezra. Jews from all over would gather in the Temple to experiencethe sacred sight of the High Priest performing his service, obtainingforgiveness for all of Israel. When the second Temple was destroyed in the year3830 from creation (70 CE), the Yom Kippur service continued. Instead of a HighPriest bringing the sacrifices in Jerusalem, every single Jew performs the YomKippur service in the temple of his or her heart.
- Reading the Megillah which recounts the story of the Purim miracle. This is done once on the eve of Purim and again the following day.
- Giving monetary gifts to at least two poor people.
- Sending gifts of two kinds of food to at least one person.
- A festive Purim feast, which often includes wine or other intoxicating beverages.