The Biblically commanded holiday of Rosh HaShannah celebrates the creation of Adam, the first human. As such it is understood as the birth of humankind, making it a kind of second birthday that you and I share. We all share this birthday, whatever religion, faith, creed or ideas that we each follow.

Currently, Jews and some Christians observe the holiday of Rosh HaShanna.  Yet in the Bible it is clear that this is a festival for everyone including the “stranger”, the neighbor, living in the midst of the Jews and the other tribes of Israel.

The words translate to Head (rosh) of the (ha) year (shanna). Like in English, the Hebrew word: “rosh”, means head like the one on your neck and also at the front, as in head of the class.

The Biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah. This translates to Day (yom) of raising noise, inherently a loud noise like a shout (teruah), and is referred to as the feast of Trumpets.

The trumpet used is a shofar, which is a ram’s horn.  It is a blast for the coronation of a king and also recalls the substitution of a ram, for Jacob as a sacrifice by Abraham. A total of 100 blasts from a shofar are made on each day of the festival.

Among the other Rosh Hashanah observances is the eating of an apple dipped in dipped in honey, to symbolize the hope for a new year of sweetness.

In the image above the apples bob as the notes of the shofar blast. All of the artistic strokes in this image are the Torah font letters from the Hebrew hymn, Aveinu Malkenu.  Aveinu Malkenu means:  Our Father, our King. This hymn is prominently sung during synagogue services on Rosh HaShannah.

Rosh HaShannah Song with strokes from Aveinu MalkenuRosh HaShannah Song, 2013. Strokes are the Torah font letters of the hymn, Aveinu Malkenu

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