Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 18
- Community Blog
September 28, 2011 starts the New Year for Jews, Rosh Hashanah. "Rosh Hashanah" means "head of the year." It is year 5772 in the Hebrew calendar. Did you ever wonder how the Jews figured out it was going to be year 5772?
Well, if you read the Book of Genesis, you know it describes how God created the heavens and Earth and then created Adam and Eve. It then lists their offspring and how long they lived, and so on and so on through the millenia. Well, the Jews counted all the people and all the years they lived since Creation and determined the age of the Earth will be 5772 years old after sunset on September 28, 2011.
The first man, in Biblical terms, was Adam. Adam is a Hebrew word. It means "man." So the name of the first man is "man". The Hebrew word for Adam's wife, Eve, is "Chavah." Chavah is a variant of the Hebrew work "Chai," which means "life."
The Jews actually have four different years and four different new years, each starting at a different time. The one that starts September 28 is the civil year for people, animals, and legal contracts. Being an agricultural people, they had other years related to the planting of crops.
It is not appropriate to wish "Happy New Year" on Rosh Hashanah, as it is a solemn occasion. Instead, Jews say "L'Shana Tova," which means "to a Good Year."
A Jewish legal day runs from sunset to sunset, why is that? Well, that's what it says in the Book of Genesis.
Gen 1:5: And Elohim called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
So that first 24-hour day began with night and ended with day--and it’s been that way ever since.