The Jewish New Year 5779 starts on 9th of September, at sunset.
This is not the ordinary calendar date. In the Jewish calendar chronology is calculated from the creation of the world, and specifically from the sixth day of creation, when G-d has created the man. Rosh Hashanah is considered as the beginning of a New Year, the beginning of a new coil in the world cycle, it’s a holiday of the world’s creation.
Rosh Hashanah is a Judgement Day for all G-d’s creatures. On this day, every creature passes in front of G-d’s eyes. Everyone’s destiny is being determined.
With Rosh Hashanah the ten-days period begins, the “days of awe,” which ends in Yom Kippur, the day of judgment, the day of forgiveness and atonement. We have 10 days to evaluate our past, regret mistakes and shameful deeds committed, and realize how much good and kind things may still be done. Only after Yom Kippur the G-d’s decision is approved and sealed, add this is how our fate for the future year is determined. Therefore, while congratulating with Rosh Hashanah, people wish each other a happy, sweet New Year and favorable, good G-d’s decision. While meeting the New Year we hope that all our troubles, sorrows and misfortunes will irrevocably disappear into the past, that from the New Year a new countdown of days will begin, and there will be no place for everything that darkens our life. Let 5779 be a year of peace in the whole world, a year of tolerance, mutual respect and mutual understanding among peoples! May well-being and pacification enter in every house! May the coming year bring you and your loved ones the blessings of a good health, prosperity and joy!
Wishing you a sweet New Year,
Chairman of the Jewish religious society “Shamir”, Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum, International European Tolerance Center
Rabbi Menachem Barkahan