May you have a Good Year
Shana Tova means Good Year in Hebrew. However, is this new year only for Jews? The wise men of the Talmud, one of the Sacred Hebrew Scriptures, point out that Rosh ha Shana is a celebration for all humanity. The first day of the Jewish month of Tishrei -Day of the celebration of the new Year-, Adam was created, the first man according to the Bible, and with this, the creation of the world is completed. According to the sources of Jewish wisdom, in this date begins the rotation of the sun and the moon, a milestone that marks the beginning of the year for the years and, besides, begins the cycle of life of the plantations and growing of vegetables and herbs in the Land of Israel.
For the Jewish people, Rosh ha Shana is, besides, a special moment of fertility: patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are born, and with them, a transcendent and millennial culture is founded, and matriarchs Sara, Rachel and Jana, who where sterile, conceive their first son. Also Rosh has Shana mark a stage of release and return: Joseph, who had been sold by his brothers, was released after twelve years of unjustified reclusion and sees again his family and his descendants, who had been enslaved. They went out of Egypt and came back to Israel, "the land where milk and honey emanates".
An unavoidable aspect of this new beginning is that the period that comprises from Rosh ha Shana to Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the "lami noraim" -terrible days, according to the religious tradition -it is the moment in which the behaviour and the purposes of people are evaluated and self evaluated. This valuation will define their destiny for next year.
Then, the end of a cycle and several beginnings. For a people and for all the Humanity. Moreover, the desire for a good beginning for all of them. May God give you a lot and good.
Research, texts and cooking: Débora Chomski
With special thanks to:
- Rabbi Daniel ben Itzjak, great master of the Torah. His wisdom and generosity are printed in this space. You may enjoy his classes about High Festivities and other subjects related to Judaism at the Virtual University of Judaism (www.universidadvirtualdejudaismo.com)
- Rabbi Aharon Shlesinguer, whose answers to some curiosities related to the Sacred texts have improved this document.