When is Rosh Hashanah in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar?
Rosh Hashanah in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar was originally on the first day of the Hebrew/Jewish month of Tishri or Tishrei which is the seventh month in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar, and many Jewish people still celebrate it on that day. In addition, Rosh Hashanah was not originally called Rosh Hashanah. The Hebrew Bible refers to it by two different names in Hebrew: Yom Ha-Zikkaron ("Day of Remembrance") and Yom Teruah ("Day of the Sounding of the Shofar"). By Jewish tradition, this was the day on which the world - as well as Adam - was created. However, centuries after the establishment of the first day of Tishri or Tishrei as a day of remembrance and of sounding the shofar, rabbinical law as outlined in the Talmud (compiled between about 10 B.C.E. and 500 C.E.) declared that a second day - the second day of Tishri or Tishrei - was also to be a day for commemoration based on the same reasons as for the first day in addition to being a day of judgment and being the day on which the year number advanced by one year in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar. Therefore, based on rabbinical law, many Jewish people observe Rosh Hashanah for two days: the first day and second day of Tishri or Tishrei.
When is Rosh Hashanah in the Gregorian calendar?
Rosh Hashanah in the Gregorian calendar will fall in either September or October in any given year because the Hebrew/Jewish calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar and therefore, is readjusted every three years by appending an extra month to its calendar to make up for the fewer days it has vis-à-vis the Gregorian calendar.
Why does Rosh Hashanah begin on the first day of the seventh month in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar if it is considered to be the Jewish New Year? Why is it not on the first day of the first month in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar?
This is at first glance one of the peculiarities of the Hebrew/Jewish calendar, although there is an explanation that is based on biblical passages. In the Torah of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, when referring to the month of Nisan or Nissan, G-d stated that: "This month shall be to you the head of the months; to you it shall be the first of the months of the year" (Exodus 12:2 or Shemot 12:2; "Shemot" or "Shmot" is the Hebrew word for "Exodus"). Therefore, the month of Nisan or Nissan is the first month in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar, because the Exodus from Egypt, the Hebrew peoples' independence day, took place in this month. The seventh month in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar, as mentioned, is the month of Tishri or Tishrei and both the first day and second day of this month is when Rosh Hashanah takes place (some Jews celebrate Rosh Hashanah for only one day as the holiday was originally celebrated for one day, but in the late Second Temple period, about 1 C.E. to 70 C.E., the rabbis extended the celebration of Rosh Hashanah so that it became a two-day holiday. In addition, it was only in Mishnaic times, about 10 B.C.E. until about 200 C.E. or 220 C.E., that the name "Rosh Hashanah" was applied to this day). So why in the seventh month do we celebrate Rosh Hashanah? The answer is that in Jewish tradition, the first day of the seventh month is when the creation of the world and of Adam took place, and so we increase the year number in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar on this day. Therefore, with regard to the months and years in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar, this day, the first day of Tishri or Tishrei, can also be referred to as the "New Year For Years" while the first day of Nisan or Nissan can be referred to as the "New Year For Months".
Why does the date for Rosh Hashanah change from year to year in the modern Gregorian calendar ?
Because the Hebrew/Jewish calendar is a lunisolar calendar while the Gregorian calendar is a purely solar calendar, the differences in the two calendars means that the date for Rosh Hashanah will vary from year to year in the Gregorian calendar, but the periodic corrections made in the shorter Hebrew/Jewish calendar to keep up with the Gregorian calendar means that the date for Rosh Hashanah from year to year will remain in a range of dates in the Gregorian calendar, meaning that Rosh Hashanah will occur in either September of October in the Gregorian calendar. However, in the Hebrew/Jewish calendar, the date for Rosh Hashanah is always fixed, and therefore always begins on the first day of Tishri or Tishrei, and ends at the end of the second day of Tishri or Tishrei for Jews who celebrate Rosh Hashanah for two days. For Jews who celebrate Rosh Hashanah for one day, Rosh Hashanah will only occur on the first day of Tishri or Tishrei.
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