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Rosh Hashanah

Many people have been wondering why we have off school on Thursday, rather than Friday. The reason for this teacher workday is the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah.

 

Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish equivalent of New Years. It is different from the American tradition for New Years of staying up all night drinking and partying, while Rosh Hashanah is the holiest day of the year, in the Jewish religion.

 

The biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, translating to “day [of] Raising noise.” It is also known as the Feast of Trumpets. The shofar is made from a ram’s horn. This is the trumpet that is sounded 100 times on Rosh Hashanah.

 

This Jewish holy day is spent mostly in the synagogue. There is a special prayer book specifically for Rosh Hashanah, called Machzor.

 

Deena Shapiro, Leesville sophomore, celebrates this holiday. “We eat apples and honey as well as attending service at my synagogue,” said Shapiro. “We also go down to a stream or creek for other traditions.”

 

A practiced tradition on Rosh Hashanah is dipping apples and bread into honey. Another common activity is going to a creek or flowing water and casting whatever happens to be in your pockets. This symbolizes throwing off your sins, called tashlich. The bible never talks about the flowing water tradition, but it is commonly practiced.

 

Rosh Hashanah focuses around humility and happiness. No work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah, and that is why public schools get the day off. However, Catholic and Christian private schools do not get this day off and will still be in school on Thursday, September 25.

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