A post by Maynard
(Bumped up)

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starts this year at sundown on Sunday, October 2nd. This marks the 5777th year since Creation, and the beginning of the ten “Days of Awe” prior to Yom Kippur. These are the High Holidays.

Jewish tradition has it that God judges the world at Rosh Hashanah. His judgment goes into His book, and the fate of every man for the coming year is written.

But it’s not yet a done deal. The book is not sealed until Yom Kippur. These are days of self-examination and atonement. Religious Jews who are uncertain of their standing (and that means everybody!) will make a special effort to right any wrongs they may have committed during the previous year. One cannot hide from the Judge of the Universe, but He may be moved by active repentance.

Thus a religious Jew will be particularly inclined towards charitable causes during these interim days. If you’re soliciting on behalf of a beneficial foundation, this could be your best opportunity.

Yom Kippur itself (the 24-hour period starting this year at sundown, Tuesday, October 11th) is a day of fasting and intense ritual. Upon the final blowing of the shofar (ram’s horn), our fates for the coming year are sealed.

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32 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. MitchM says:

    Hi Tammy! Just signed up. I’ll visit when I’m not at Sondra’s getting into fights with TUA. 😉

  2. The Nations Girl says:

    “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 Blessings to all!

  3. Barry in CO says:

    Now that sounds like some serious tradition.

    Methodists will counter with bake sales and touch football games.

  4. Shifra says:

    Thanks, Maynard, for your post about the Jewish holidays. It was pithy and eloquent, and “spot on.”

  5. c4400 says:

    I never understood the creation timeline: ‘5770 years since creation…’ I mean it’s a great story and all, but there’s so much scientific evidence like carbon dating of remains of people older than that and er.. those dinosaur bones are a bit older than 5700 years old…and there’s no oral or documented written history of man living with dinosaurs that I’ve ever heard of… So.. whats up with this 5770 number? Where did it come from?

    • Carol says:

      Cartoon documentation history: The Flintstones had a pet dinosaur, and ate brontosaurus burgers.

    • Shifra says:

      Great question, c4400! I hope this doesn’t sound too ‘preachy,’ but your question is a thoughtful one, and I’ll give it my best shot: According to Jewish tradition, the Bible is not a a science book or a history book; it’s a book about the meaning and purpose of life, and teaches us that the world was not created by chance, but by
      G-d’s design. Many rabbinical commentaries point out that since the sun was not even created until the fourth day, the seven days of Creation are not seen as “24 hour days.” Consequently, it is possible that Day One of creation could have been a million years, maybe a billion years…. As far as the 5770 number is concerned, that number refers to the beginning of recorded human history, when Adam was created.

      You ask about the number 5770 and wonder, “Where did it come from?” and I wonder about Michelle’s stupid belt. WHERE DID IT COME FROM?????????

      • ffigtree says:

        Shifra, I tend to agree that the Bible is not a science book. In one of my favorite books When Children Ask About God by Harold Kushner, he states, “Science can define Homo Sapiens; religion can envision what it means to be authentically human.” 🙂

    • srrchl says:

      I will try to explain it greater depth in another post, but the concept is this. Time, as we learned from Einstein, is relative. 5770 encompasses mystical constructs and the notion of spiritual time. Perhaps the following from a Jewish mystic will give you some sense of time relativity.

      The Speed of Light

      Based on the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe
      Courtesy of

      For thousands of years, information traveled no faster than its human bearer. Beyond the range of the human ear and eye, man could communicate with his fellow only as speedily as the swiftest means he could devise to physically carry a person (or animal) across the miles which separated them.

      But a century and a half ago, the very concept of communication underwent a radical transformation: man learned to translate words into pulses of energy surging through a copper wire. Then radio waves were discovered and exploited, even further freeing the flow of information from the limitations imposed by physical distance–ideas and data could now be transmitted across vast distances in virtually no time at all.

      The new communication technologies yielded a vast array of tools which man–imbued by his Creator with the capacity to freely choose between good and evil–could utilize to the betterment of his self and world, or to their detriment. But even more significant is the way these discoveries changed our very perception of the reality we inhabit. For the first time in our history, we experienced timelessness.

      As physical beings, we inhabit a world defined by “spacetime”–a virtual grid in whose context all objects and events are assigned a “place” which defines their relationship vis-a-vis each other by placing an X amount of “distance” between them. Bridging this distance “takes time”: to get from event A to event B, one must first pass through the seconds or centuries which separate them, one at a time; for object A to exert an influence upon object B, it must first surmount the millimeters or miles which separate them, one at a time. In other words, getting from point A to point B is a process–a sequence of actions occurring one after the other.

      Such was our experience of reality before the advent of electronic communication. But with the invention of the telegraph, telephone and radio, the transfer of information became instantaneous. No longer did it take any longer to communicate across the globe than across the room. No longer was time a meaningful factor in linking two points on earth, regardless of the distance between them.

      Of course, it does take time for radio waves to pass through space: ultimately, our world is no less physical (i.e., no less defined by time and space) than it was two centuries ago. But the fact that we experience a link across distances in no perceptible duration of time represents a breakthrough not only in the way we live but also in the way we think.

  6. jonboy says:

    About the 5770 years since Creation, I also have a literal belief in the Bible and believe the earth is about 6,000 years old. One thing to consider….when God created the earth, he didnt make everything in its “infant stage”…meaning he created some things “old” already. I know us Tammy Army members may have different views, and i dont want to offend anyone…but would enjoy discussing this topic more if anyone wants to.

  7. barenakedislam says:

    Thanks for the New Year wishes, Maynard. Will somebody please tell the stupid Palestinians that we Jews have been around their neighborhood far longer than they have, and well before 1948 which is when they think Jews first arrived in Israel.

    • Shifra says:

      Yes, and will someone please tell the stupid Palestinians that they are NOT Palestinians — During the British Mandate of Palestine (1922-1948), JEWS who lived there were called “Palestinians.” The word ‘Palestine’ is Latin, and dates back to the Roman Empire, and refers to the Philistines, who lived in Canaan (and these present-day “Palestinians” are NOT their descendants).

  8. aardvark says:

    “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you.'”
    (Psalm 122:6) L’shanah tovah to all our Jewish friends!

    Nations Girl, I used Micah 6:8 for a long time as my e-mail siggie. It has long been a favorite. Ditto this one. There are so many excellent choices. We often choose to donate a small amount to Pizza IDF (sends small treats to Israeli soldiers and families), or to American Red Magen David for Israel (supports Israel’s first responders); Jewish hospitals and charities here in the US are great choices too. Conservative Christians are some of Israel’s biggest supporters – we stand for Israel! Many believe if the US stops supporting Israel, it will be the end of the US too. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech was SOOO right!

  9. BastiatFan says:

    Wow, this is a great post. Thank you Maynard, and Shifra and jonboy for your contributions. I really appreciate opportunities like this to broaden my knowledge. Bless all the tams, no matter how they believe or DON’T believe, during these holy days.

    Oh, and welcome aboard Mitch!

  10. DogOnCrack says:

    The majority of theologians and Bibical scholars will tell you that most of the Book of Genesis isn’t meant to be taken literally. Its purpose is to establish the basic understanding that life was created and that we as intelligent human beings have a moral duty to God.

    • IloiloKano says:

      That is, the majority of theologians today. has only recently (historically speaking) been the case. I don’t force my beliefs on anybody, but it is a little perturbing when my beliefs are ridiculed as ignorant by those who would not have me impose my beliefs on them.

      Apologies in advance for this lengthy post…

      I am a scientist and an engineer, and I have seen more evidence that most of the Bible is indeed meant to be taken literally than to the contrary. Yet to explain why I believe as I do to someone who refuses to entertain the remote possibility that I may have a point is absolutely impossible. What on its face appears to be a simple matter is very often quite complex.

      A simple example – Given: Nothing can travel faster that the speed of light. If there is a star traveling away from us in one direction at 51% of the speed of light (there are many such stars), and another star is traveling away from us in the OTHER direction at 51% of the speed of light (again, there are quite a few of these), then relative to each other those two stars must be traveling away from each other at 102% of the speed of light, thus breaking the rule. Correct?

      The last statement, though a seemingly simple contradiction to point out to a scientist, is not actually true. It can be proven false, relatively easily, to any one educated in the science behind the phenomena, but it isn’t simple to the average man. The same can be said for the reasoning behind why MANY scientists, engineers, biologists etcetera believe in the literal account of the Bible, and not by holding simultaneously to two contradictory statements, but because they do not believe their faith and science contradict each other.

      I’ll be more than happy to debate the matter with those genuinely wishing to understand why and how people like me can believe such things, but not here. This is not the venue for such matters. My ID here is the same as on twitter, and if you contact me there, I’ll tell you how I can give you my direct email address for a genial debate between friends.

      Just as in all things, whether political, religious, moral or whatever, we all should be certain we know WHAT and WHY others believe as they do BEFORE we attempt to take them on, thus avoiding potential embarrassment if they are able to dismantle our arguments with ease and make us the fool for our lack of knowledge.

      In other words, know what you believe, why you believe it, and be thoroughly able to defend it when faced with expert opposition, and don’t forget to study the beliefs of your adversaries, which in the case of most of us are Liberals and Progressive, but should not be each other.

  11. BastiatFan says:

    And may I add one tiny note to your comment dog? “Life was created, and that we are made in God’s image, and as intelligent human beings have a moral duty to G-d.”

  12. thierry says:

    it’s always important for people to review their consciences for that which they have put into the world- because without this serious reflection we’re nothing but the most brutal of savages living in a chaotic and evil hell.

    ” if there is no mercy left in the world/ the doors of heaven will never be barred”- rabbi shalom shabazi :

  13. IloiloKano says:

    Thanks for the lesson regarding Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. There was much in the article that I did not know.

  14. flaggman says:

    Thanks Maynard, Tammy, and all the rest of the TAMS. I love that most people in this community are both hip and square! Square enough to delve deeply into subjects in which “experts” would probably tell us we are out of our depth.

    As a Jew who was raised secular and agnostic but is now a true believer, I follow the sage words of Dennis Prager: there can be no conflict between scripture and science. If science and scripture are at odds, then we’re simply not interpreting something correctly. If you’re taking all of the bible literally, you’re missing the point; likewise, if you’re looking for spirituality in science, you’re probably missing the point, too.

    Shana Tova to my fellow J-Tams!

  15. imacat says:

    As a high school science teacher and a Christian, I would like to share my approach to the evolution vs. creation debate. For the first 3 years of my teaching career I taught all of the science classes in a very small school in central Kansas. I chose to take a just-the-facts approach to biology and thereby avoided the subject. Since then I’ve taught chemistry and physical science for 19 years in much larger schools, so the question only comes up occasionally, but here’s what I say when it does:
    “First of all, there are 2 big assumptions that are made on both sides. Evolutionists assume that everything occurs by natural processes and that these processes have always occurred at the same rate. Creationists assume that God exists and that miracles are possible. Since no one was there to see what actually happened, both sides look for evidence based on their assumptions. Secondly, we need to examine the consequences of each perspective throughout history. Has this way of thinking led to freedom and happiness or has it led to oppression and despair, for societies and for individuals? Finally, do you think we should use our energies and talents to debate issues which cannot be proven or should we focus on solving the obvious problems facing our world today? I think you can probably guess my answer to that, and the other question is one you will have to consider for yourself.”
    I have never had any negative reaction to this explanation, probably because it only comes up once or twice a year and also because I’m not teaching biology. I am curious to know what you all think about my approach. Hopefully you would be OK with it if your child were a student in my class.

  16. midget says:

    Happy Rosh Hashanah to all Tams. “May you have a good year”. Check out Dr. Carl Baugh for info on creation. They proved the Great Flood really happened.

  17. Shifra says:

    Mitt Romney’s message for the Jewish New Year: Heartfelt, authentic, “spot-on”

    The DB’s message? Phony and pandering. And a lecture about the meaning of the holiday. As the Yiddish expression goes, “I needed this like I needed another hole in the head.”

  18. Alain41 says:

    Excellent post Maynard.

    For me, I enjoy the special foods that appear. I just bought at my local supermarket, cinnamon babka made by Lilly’s Bake Shop, Brooklyn NY. I just eat it with butter. I don’t know if there are appropriate accompaniments for it. Very good, regardless.

  19. padrooga says:

    Raisins in the challah for a sweet new year….

  20. Minnie says:

    Happy Rosh Hashanah to all the TAMS celebrating ! May you be blessed always .

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