Page 53 - catholicresources_Spring2018
P. 53

              Feasts of the Season Fall 2017
                        Jewish High Holy Days
                In the autumn of the year, our Jewish friends and neighbors celebrate their most important religious holy days of the year. These are Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) and––ten days later––Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement). The ten days between these two holy days are known as the Days of Awe.
Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on September 20 this year and is celebrated
until nightfall on September 22. It’s a two-day period when people look back over
the past year and forward to the coming year. Jewish people believe that at this time
God also judges their behavior in the past year and records in his Book of Life who deserves credit for a good year and who deserves blame for a bad year.
Rosh Hashanah means “head of the year,” and people spend part of this time in the synagogue, where they hear the shofar, or ram’s horn, blown during the ceremony. This special sound alerts the people to the sacredness of the day and calls them to contemplate their past behavior. A festive meal is eaten on Rosh Hashanah. Special foods served include apples dipped in honey to signify the wish for a sweet new year.
The Days of Awe are the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur. During these days people can alter what God has inscribed, or written, about them in the Book of Life. A negative judgment for the new year can be changed by prayer, good deeds, and sincere repentance. The Days of Awe give people a chance to become reconciled with those they have wronged in the past year. Apologies are in order, as well as e orts to undo any evil they have done. Jews o er each other the following greeting at this time: “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” The inscribing has been done on Rosh Hashanah, but the sealing won’t take place until Yom Kippur. People have ten days to make things right between themselves and their neighbors.
Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish year. It’s a day of no work and strict fast, with no eating or drinking. Much of the day is spent in the synagogue asking for forgiveness of sins. It’s the last chance to change the judgment that God made on Rosh Hashanah. The day begins at sunset on September 29 this year and ends with nightfall on September 30. With sincere repentance, people can receive forgiveness and feel assured of a good new year.
       A Service of
Note to Parents: More activities at © 2017 P aum Publishing Group, a division of Bayard, Inc. (800-543-4383) Permission is granted to reproduce this page for use by parishes, schools, and families using P aum Gospel Weeklies.

   51   52   53   54   55