EMBER WEDNESDAY-ROSH HASHANAH
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”-Is 54:10
Psalm 64, Verse 10
Every person fears and proclaims God’s actions, they ponder his deeds.
Those who follow the commandments of God will be glad for their trust is in Him who is. Whoever is filled with God’s spirit will have an upright heart and is joyful. Generosity is their watchword.
Ember Wednesday of September. (Also called the Michaelmas Embertide because of its proximity to St. Michael's Day. See Ember Days.) Commemoration of the restoration of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile.
The term “Ember Days” is derived from the Latin term Quatuor Tempora, which literally means “four times.” There are four sets of Ember Days each calendar year; three days each – Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Ember Days fall at the start of a new season and they are ordered as days of fast and abstinence. The significance of the days of the week are that Wednesday was the day Christ was betrayed, Friday was the day He was crucified, and Saturday was the day He was entombed. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the purpose of Ember Days, “besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy.”
The Four Occurrences of Ember Days are as Follows
· Winter: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of St. Lucy.
· Spring: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Ash Wednesday.
· Summer: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Pentecost.
· Fall: the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of the Holy Cross.
Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: ראש השנה) is the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah literally translates to the Head of the Year. It is a two day festival. In the Bible, it is called Yom Ha-Zikkaron, the day of remembrance or Yom Teruah the day of the sounding of the shofar-(Leviticus 23:24-25). Jews start Rosh Hashanah festivals with lighting of the candles and synagogue prayers. On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Jews eat an apple dipped in honey to signify a sweet new year to come. They also place a fishes head at the table to commemorate 'being a head and not a tail'.
Rosh Hashanah Facts
· In synagogues it is common for 100 notes to be sounded with a Ram's horn as a call to repentance.
· Jews typically wear new clothes on Rosh Hashanah and eat new fruits that have not yet been tasted in the season. Customary foods include round hallah bread with raisins, pomegranates, pumpkins, carrots, and honey cake.
· For Rosh Hashana, many Jews 'cast off their sins' to a running water stream/sea containing fish (the Tashlich custom). This is to symbolically purge one's body of sin and cast the sins onto the fish.
· On Rosh Hashanah, it is believed that the fate of all Jews and Gentiles is defined by God for that year. Jews greet each other with many Happy New Year wishes. It is customary to therefore greet people with a wish for a happy New Year and to 'be inscribed for a good year' - meaning to be allocated by God a full year of healthy life.
· New Year prayers include many passages relating to the sovereignty and dominion of God over the entire world. One of these prayers is recited daily and is called Aleinu leshabei'ach (it is our duty to praise God). However, on Rosh Hashanah, during this prayer, Orthodox Jews bow down to accept the full Sovereignty of the Lord.
Rosh Hashanah Top Events and Things to Do
· Send New Year's Greeting Cards to your Jewish friends.
· Celebrate the Jewish New Year with a Rosh Hashana Concert. Popular concerts are held in major cities such as New York and London.
· Attend a local Rosh Hashanah service as a synagogue near you.
· Fast today praying for priest’s. In the evening when you break the fast have some traditional Rosh Hashanah foods. In light of this day’s reflection on the betrayal of Judas and the 30 pieces of silver he received try to make a donation to a local priest in reparation to Christ.