1. The first of Tishrei is a day of rest (from normal activities), a day of 'Holy Assembly', and of 'Sounding' (i.e., when the Shofar is blown).

    'On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of cessation, remembrance of sounding, a holy assembly; you are not to produce any items of service (as opposed to food).'
    (Leviticus 23:24-25)

  2. The first of Tishrei is Rosh Hashanah, Judgement Day.
  3. Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the new year (although Tishrei is the seventh month, according to the Torah).
  4. The holiness of Rosh Hashanah, is also related to it being the first of the Ten Days of Repentance.
  5. The Festivals mentioned in the Torah are divided into two groups:
    • (a) Pesach, Shavuot and Succot, when G-d is regarded as the G-d of Israel;
    • (b) Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, when G-d is regarded as King (Judge) of the whole world.
  6. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur form a unit, known as the Yamim Nora'im - the Days of Awe. In the Torah itself the word chag (one of the terms for Festival) is not used to describe them, and the commandment to,
    'enjoy your festivals and be happy on them'
    does not apply.
    Rather, on these days, the atmosphere is solemn and serious, with humility and fear of judgement.
  7. Rosh Hashanah is the time when judgement of the world begins, when justice alone reigns; Yom Kippur is when the judgement of the world is concluded, when mercy reigns, when there is forgiveness.
  8. The first of Tishrei is called a Day of Remembrance, because it is the day when the first day of man's existence is remembered, the date when the Creation was completed.
  9. On Rosh Hashanah, we declare G-d to be our Supreme King and ask in our prayers that He should reign over the entire world.
  10. The specific mitzvah (precept) applying to Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the Shofar (ram's horn), which brings to mind two historical revelations with which it is connected:
    • (a) The sound of the shofar at the giving of the Torah (Exodus 19:16).
    • (b) The shofar to be blown at the coming of the Messiah (Isaiah 27:13).





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02 Jan 2006 / 2 Tevet 5766 0