By Arlene Bridges Samuels, CBN Israel—
Rosh Hashanah (“head of the year” in Hebrew) is another miracle of promise-keeping by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This Jewish New Year celebration—the 5,782nd—commences at sundown on Monday, September 6, and ends at sundown on Wednesday, September 8. Israel continues to survive and thrive!
The holiday is considered the anniversary of the birthday of the universe and the creation of Adam and Eve. The Jewish New Year marks the first of the High Holy Days and begins 10 days before Yom Kippur—the Day of Atonement—which is the holiest day of the year for Jewish people worldwide. The Jewish New Year, like many Christian denominational holidays, is celebrated in varying ways. But it’s full of special meals, gatherings, the sounding of shofars, special prayers, and apples dipped in honey signifying hopes for a sweet new year.
A few days before the New Year, workers clear out tens of thousands of prayer notes in the Western Wall, sometimes called “God’s mailbox.” Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Western Wall’s rabbi, observes, “There are notes from all over the world.” He goes on to say that the notes are buried because they have the status of letters to God. Twice a year, they are collected and respectfully buried by Rabbi Rabinowitz and his helpers in the Jewish cemetery located on the Mount of Olives.
Leading up to the Jewish New Year is an ideal time to look back on a few of Israel’s latest innovations. The country’s small size and population has not stopped them from making enormous contributions to the world. It’s a “little giant,” a David stepping up to fight the growing Goliath of anti-Semitism and security challenges. Nevertheless, Israelis manage to innovate in ways that reach across the world. Israel never ceases to astonish me.
Israel possesses a mere one-thousandth of the world’s population. Despite this, the little giant imitates its ancestor King David. He triumphed against all odds as the youngest of his brothers and the most unlikely Israelite to take on Goliath. Israelis could understandably play the role of victim due to the continual terrorism and terror threats on three of their borders.
Iran’s newest leader, likely through a rigged election in August, President Ebrahim Raisi is deemed by human rights groups as responsible for thousands of Iranian deaths. The hardliner’s hatred of Israel from 1,200 miles away calls on his surrogates right next door to Israel—Hamas, Hezbollah, and Syria—to do the job for him. Despite such threats, however, here are some of the cultural markers that enliven Israel’s Jewish citizens and their innovations. Continue Reading…