Hours before Rosh Hashanah started in Israel, hundreds of Muslim worshippers threw rocks at police officers and Jewish visitors at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount on Wednesday morning, according to Israel Hayom. A large police force was summoned to the scene to calm the situation, and no injuries or damage were reported.The officers managed to subdue the rioters, some of whom were wearing face masks. Many fled into nearby mosques when the police arrived. A large police presence remained on site, and entry to the Temple Mount was not restricted.
Police sources said that they were not surprised by the violence and that police had advance knowledge of plans to riot on the Temple Mount. Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said he planned to closely monitor the deployment of police units in the area over the course of the holiday.
The rock-throwing incident occurred one day after the head the northern chapter of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Salah, was arrested on his way to a press conference in eastern Jerusalem. Police suspect that Salah meant to incite his followers to instigate violent clashes on the Temple Mount during the Jewish holiday.
Salah’s arrest was apparently in response to a speech the sheikh gave at Kafr Qara near Haifa. The outspoken cleric had accused Israel of being behind the recent political crisis in Egypt and throughout the Arab world. He also said the Jerusalem police force planned to torch the Temple Mount during the High Holy Days.
Tag Archives: Rosh Hashanah
Wishing all our Jewish readers a happy and blessed New Year – Shana Tova!
The Jewish New Year is explained here.
Though Rosh Hashanah literally means “head of the year,” the holiday actually takes place on the first two days of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. This is because Rosh Hashanah, one of four new years in the Jewish year, is considered the new year of people, animals and legal contracts. In the Jewish oral tradition, Rosh Hashanah marks the completion of the creation of the world.
Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, or Yamim Noraim (the “Days of Awe“), and is followed 10 days later by Yom Kippur, the “day of atonement.” The Mishnah refers to Rosh Hashanah as the “day of judgment,” and it is believed that God opens the Book of Life on this day and begins to decide who shall live and who shall die. The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are viewed as an opportunity for Jews to repent (teshuvah, in Hebrew) and ensure a good fate.
Jews traditionally gather in synagogues on Rosh Hashanah for extended services that follow the liturgy of a special prayerbook, called a mahzor, that is used during the Days of Awe. At specific times throughout the service, a shofar, or ram’s horn, is blown. The mitzvah (commandment) to hear the shofar, a literal and spiritual wake-up call, is special to this time of year.
The new year is the only Jewish holiday that is observed for two days by all Jews (other holidays are observed for just one day within the Land of Israel) as it is also the only major holiday that falls on a new moon.
A common greeting on Rosh Hashanah is shana tovah u’metukah, Hebrew for “a good and sweet new year.” Many traditional Rosh Hashanah foods — apples and honey, raisin challah, honey cake and pomegranate — are eaten, in part, for this reason.
L’shanah tovah to all our Jewish friends.
The Jewish New Year 5772 begins at sundown Wednesday as the two-day holiday known as Rosh Hashanah calling sinners to repent.
And as Fr Robert observes:
Jewish tradition teaches that during the High Holy Days God decides who will live and who will die during the coming year. Indeed God is always sovereign & providential!
While VOA reports ‘Israel Observes Rosh Hashanah in Uncertain Times’:
Israelis are observing Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the High Holy Days and a time of reflection and prayer. There are 10 days of repentance leading up to the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement.
The New Year comes at a time of political uncertainty in Israel, as the Palestinians seek recognition of an independent state at the United Nations…
And there is more on the holiday self here.