Mother lights the Sabbath candles
and all the children stand around her
they cast a glance to the candlesticks
full of light and warmth and love
Mother gives a blessing ‘Shabbat Shalom’
and mother prays ‘Shabbat Shalom’
Mother wishes ‘Shabbat Shalom’
to all her family
Mother lights the Sabbath candles
she closes and covers her eyes
and all the children slowly, slowly
whisper a prayer in their hearts
Mother lights the Sabbath candles
and the sun is already turned towards the sea
dusk will fall from above
but light will remain in our homes forever.
1 Chronicles 16.
And they brought the ark of God in and set it in the tent David had pitched for it, and presented burnt-offerings and welfare-sacrifices before God. And when David finished offering the burnt-offering and welfare sacrifices he blessed the people in the name of Jehovah, and distributed to all the men of Israel, women as well as men, a biscuit apiece and a steak and a cake of raisins.
And he put before the ark of Jehovah some of the Levites as attendants and to sing for the memorial and give thanks and praise to Israel’s God Jehovah: Asaph the head, and second under him Zecariah, Jeíel and Shemiramoth and Jehiel and Mattithiah and Eliab and Benajah and ‘Obed-Edom and Jeíel, with instruments, harps and lyres and Asasp sounding cymbals, and the priests Benajah and Jahaziel with perpetual trumpets before the ark of God’s covenant. On that day David then first put the giving of thanks to Jehovah into the hands of Asaph and his brothers.
“Thank Jehovah, proclaim his name,
make known among the people his deeds.
Sing for him, make music for him,
review all his wonders,
Boast of his holy name,
let the hearts of those who seek Jehovah be glad.
Look to Jehovah and his strength;
always be looking for his face.
Remember his wonders that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments of his mouth,
You descendants of his servant Israel,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones.
He is our God Jehovah,
his judgments run throughout the earth.
Forever remember his covenant,
the word that he commanded for a thousand years,
Which he undertook with Abraham,
and Isaac had his oath,
And he confirmed it to be a decree for Jacob,
a perpetual covenant for Israel,
‘To you I will give Canaan
as your definite estate,’
When they were few in number,
a mere handful, and immigrants in it.
And going about from nation to nation,
and from a kingdom to another people.
He did not let any man deny them justice,
but reproved kings on their account,
‘Do not touch my anointed ones
nor harm my prophets.’
Sing for Jehovah, all the earth!
Tell the good news of his salvation day after day.
Tell the tale of his glory among the nations,
among all the peoples his wondrous feats,
Because Jehovah is great and high-praised,
and he is terrible over all gods,
For all the peoples’ gods are trumperies,
but Jehovah made the skies.
Majesty and splendour are before him,
strength and glee in the place where he is.
Give to Jehovah, clans of peoples,
give to Jehovah glory and might!
Give to Jehovah the glory that belongs to his name,
carry as offering, and come in before him.
Do reverence to Jehovah in stately sacred garb;
tremble before him, all the earth,
be the world established too, not to be disturbed,
Let the heavens be glad and the earth jubilant,
and let them say among the nations ‘Jehovah is king!’
Let the sea and what fills it thunder,
let the fields and everything in them exalt,
Then let the trees on the rocks shout,
before Jehovah, because he has come to judge the earth!
Thank Jehovah, because he is good,
because his friendship lasts forever,
And let them say ‘Save us, God of our salvation,
and gather us and deliver us out of the nations,
To give thanks to your holy name,
to glory in your praise.
Blessed be Israel’s God Jehovah
for eternity to eternity.'”
And all the people said “Amen” and gave praise to Jehovah.
And he left there before the ark of Jehovah’s covenant Asaph and his brothers to officiate regularly before the ark, giving the daily service each day, and ‘Obed-Edom the son of Jeduthun and Hosah and their brothers, sixty-eight of them, for gatemen; and before Jehovah’s tabernacle at the height in Gibeon Priest Sadok to offer burnt-offerings to Jehovah on the altar of burnt-offering regularly morning and evening, and for everything that is written in Jehovah’s code which he commanded to Israel, and with them Heman and Jeduthun and the remainder of the sifted men who have been specified by name, to give thanks to Jehovah because his friendship lasts forever, and with them trumpets and cymbals for sounding and the instruments for the sacred songs, and Jeduthun’s sons for the gate. And all the people went to their several houses, and David went around to bless his family.
Rosh HaShanah is Jewish New Year. It falls once a year during the month of Tishrei and occurs ten days before Yom Kippur. Together, Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur are known as the Yamim Nora’im, which means the Days of Awe in Hebrew. In English they are often referred to as the High Holy Days.
The Meaning of Rosh HaShanah
Rosh HaShanah literally means “Head of the Year” in Hebrew. It falls in the month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. The reason for this is because the Hebrew calendar begins with the month of Nissan (when it’s believed the Jews were freed from slavery in Egypt) but the month of Tishrei is believed to be the month in which God created the world. Hence, another way to think about Rosh HaShanah is as the birthday of the world.
Rosh HaShanah is observed on the first two days of Tishrei. Jewish tradition teaches that during the High Holy Days God decides who will live and who will die during the coming year. As a result, during Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur (and in the days leading up to them) Jews embark upon the serious task of examining their lives and repenting for any wrongs they have committed during the previous year. This process of repentance is called teshuvah. Jews are encouraged to make amends with anyone they have wronged and to make plans for improving during the coming year. In this way, Rosh HaShanah is all about making peace in the community and striving to be a better person.
Even though the theme of Rosh HaShanah is life and death, it is a holiday filled with hope for the New Year. Jews believe that God is compassionate and just, and that God will accept their prayers for forgiveness.
L’shana tovah tikatev v’etahetem
May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.
Rosh HaShanah is the day on which God created Man, Adam, God’s final and most precious creation. Each Rosh HaShanah, the birthday of Mankind, we proclaim God as our one and true King. We then reaffirm our desire to serve him every moment of our lives. At this same time, God reviews the status of his creation and determines if he or she merits another year in this world.
On the first night of Rosh HaShanah, after prayer services, a special greeting is used, which is only said on this night “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” On Rosh HaShanah, everyone is judged by God based on his or her actions during the previous year. The resulting judgment is inscribed by God and a person’s future is determined for the following year. Though that judgment is inscribed, it is not yet sealed and can still be changed at least for another ten days. God waits until Yom Kippur to seal the book for the year.
How can a person change their judgment for the better? “Repentance, Prayer, and Charity can remove the bad decree.” God looks especially at three areas during the time between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, the Ten Days of Repentance. By doing teshuvah with true regret for the past and commitment for the future, a person can erase his misdeeds and hence improve his judgment before it is sealed on Yom Kippur. Similarly, by praying with greater concentration before God, and by giving charity with the proper spirit, one can also upgrade one’s status.
The significance of Rosh Chodesh…as found on OU website.
(Material below is adapted from Mesorah Publications’ Stone Edition of the Chumash)
“This is the very first commandment given to the nation as a whole, an indication that the concept of Rosh Chadesh, or New Moon, is very meaningful. Moreover, a thousand years later in Eretz Yisrael, during the period of Syrian-Greek persecution that culminated in the miracle of Chanukah, Rosh Chodesh was one of only three commandments whose observance the oppressors prohibitied. The other two forbidden commandments were the Sabbath and circumcision; that Rosh Chodesh was on a plane with these central observances is sufficient indication of its great significance.”
“This can be understood on two levels, As will be noted below, only the court can proclaim Rosh Chodesh based on the testimony of witnesses who observed the re-appearance of the moon, and upon this proclamation, the Jewish calendar is based. Unless the new months can be claimed there is no calendar, and without a calendar, there can be no festivals. Thus, if the Syrian-Greeks had succeeded in eradication the observance of Rosh Chodesh, they would have succeeded in in eliminating large numbers of other mitzot, as well.”
“On a deeper level, Rosh Chodesh symbolises renewal, the ability of the Jewish People to rise up from oblivion and restore itself to its past greatness. Just as the moon disappears at the end of each month, but returns and grows to fullness. so Israel may suffer exile and decline, but it always renews itself. – until the coming of the Messiah, when the promise of the Exodus and the revelation at Sinai will be fulfilled, never to be dimmed again.”
“This essential characteristic of Jewish history was first exhibited in Egypt, when, in the simile of the Sages, the nation had fallen to the forty-ninth level of impurity – one level above spiritual extermination – only to renew itself so breathtakingly that after seven weeks it was able to stand at Mount Sinai and experience prophecy.”
“This concept of Jewish renewal was what the Syrian-Greeks attempted to eradicate by ending the observance of Rosh Chodesh. Instead, the Jewish People rose up in defence of the Torah and the Temple, and their triumph is commemmorated through Chanuka, the festival of renewal.”