Thursday, September 25, 2014


NEW YEAR TRADITIONALLY CELEBRATED? Today marks the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, the first of the High Holy Days which in occur in the early autumn of the northern hemisphere. There are a number of ways the festival is celebrated. “We celebrate with our clients in the traditional Jewish ways, dipping apple in honey, eating honey cake, enjoying a festive meal, lighting candles for the festival, hearing the Shofar and giving them the opportunity to go to a synagogue service if they'd like to. 
For many Rosh Hashanah is a special time of year to share with family. Some of our clients live alone with few family networks so we work hard to make them feel part of our wide reaching Jewish Care family,” says Simon Morris, chief executive of Jewish Care, the UK's largest social welfare organisation.

Shofar - A shofar is an ancient musical instrument made from a horn, traditionally from a ram. It is played in Jewish synagogue services on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. Wearing white - When attending the synagogue, white or light colours are traditionally worn to symbolise new beginnings and it represents purity and renewal. 
Observing Tashlich - Tashlich, meaning "casting off", is the process of going to a flowing body of water and emptying your pockets. Apples dipped in honey - One of the most popular and well-known customs on Rosh Hashanah is dipping sliced apple into honey, an age-old tradition to express home for a sweet new year. Candle lighting - Candles are lit to bring in the Jewish holidays with warmth and light. As Jewish days begin with the setting sun, a lit candle is believed to create a sacred space. 

Yesterday, at sundown on Wednesday (Sept. 24) began Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah is one of the most important festivals in the Jewish calendar. If you are Jewish, it’s the time of year to do some serious soul-searching. On this day, Jews ask how they could have lived up to their better selves during the previous year, and for forgiveness from God and those they have wronged. The first day of the 48-hour celebration is called Tishrei, and is believed to be an anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve. As regards the traditional ways to celebrate it, the shofar is mentioned frequently in the Hebrew Bible, the Talmud and in rabbinic literature, and it is sounded just before, during and after the Musaf prayer on Rosh Hashanah. As regards Tashlich the book of Micah, says: "You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." In modern times, many throw breadcrumbs, and Tashlich is normally observed on the first day of Rosh Hashanah to symbolise casting off your sins. According to Jewish mythology, the apple represents the Shekhinah – the feminine aspect of God. As regards the candles, the number of them depends on preference and tradition and some light one candle for each member of the family. Our spiritual masters have shown many similarities between Hindu and Jewish Traditions. During the first Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit, held in New Delhi in 2007, Mr. Oded Weiner, Director General of the Rabbinate of Israel, said: "It is not surprising that there is little difference between the words “Hodim,” Hindus, and Yehodim, Jews. The words are nearly identical, separated just by the letter “yod,” the “y”. This is significant in itself because the “yod” is the tiniest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. These two letters, “yod” (Y) and “heh,” (H) spell God in the Hebrew language (YHVH - yod-heh-vav-heh). It is all really quite profound." (Editor's note).

Shalom to acharyas, and revered guests. I shall speak on similarities in our traditions. [...] Both our religions are revealed. Hinduism does not have a beginning. It was never started. Dharma was always there. The Vedas are not books, they are revealed facts by Rishis: Rsayastu mantradrstarah, not mantra-kartarah. Rishis are the seers of the mantras, not its authors. Vedas are revealed. Similarly Moses did not create the Holy Books. They were revealed. God is the source of both the Jewish and Hindu traditions. Moses did not create the religion. Similarly in our tradition we say even Rama or Krsna didn’t create the religion. We have four Vedas, you have five Holy Books. We have smritis, you have midrash. [...] You keep Kosher, we have what is called “achara” - both refer to strict codes about internal and external purity. We are pure in our food habits. We do not mix certain types of food, or eat old food. We purify ourselves before going to the temple. During the menstrual period, both Jewish and Hindu women abstain from worship.

HH Mahamandaleswar Sri Swami :
Gurusharananandaji Karsni Peeth of Mathura
“Similarities Between Hindu and Jewish Traditions”
First Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit - New Delhi - 2007

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”

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