I love that there are so many New Years in the year and especially when the New Year lines up with what feels like a new beginning for me: the autumn season and the start of the school year. In the Jewish calendar, the New Year is called Rosh Hashanah and begins with the new moon of the seventh month, which usually falls in September. This year, Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown the evening of September 13. Continue reading
This Jewish holiday, which falls on the ninth of Av, will be celebrated in 2015 from the evening of Saturday, July 25, through the evening of Sunday, July 26. It is one of those holidays that seems to capture the oppressiveness of summer heat.
It was probably derived from a Babylonian festival, held on the ninth of Av, a day of dread and sorrow, the climax of a month-long celebration focused on torches and firewood. According to Arthur Waskow in Seasons of Our Joy, my favorite book on Jewish holiday customs, the Jews may have chosen this day with its emphasis on fire to commemorate the burning of the Temple. The holiday has come to be associated with other tragedies as well, for instance the massacre of Jews during the Crusades and the Holocaust. Continue reading