HAFEZ: Happy Jewish New Year – “Rosh Hashana”:
“Rosh Hashana”: The Jewish New Year celebrates the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve. It is one of four New Years in the Jewish year – but the one that symboizes a New Year fo people, animals and legal contrats. In 2012, it is celebrated from sundwon on Sept. 16 to nightfall on Sept. 18.
“SWEET NEW YEAR”:
The symbolic foods that are eaten are “sweet” to wish you a sweet new year. This reminds me of how we do the exact same thing the second Spring begins (SPring Equinox) as part of our own Persian New Year celebrations – offer something sweet – for a “sweet new year.” The Persians and the Jews co-existed extensively during the decades after Cyrus liberated the Jews out of bondage in Babylon – and many customs, and religious concepts were exchanged. Who knows, maybe this exchange of “sweets” at the start of the New Year, dates from that time, too!
Apples dipped in honey are one tradition of foods eated during Rosh Hashana.
My favorite is the tradition of eating Pomegranates. Pomegranates are documented as being a native fruit of Iran before spreading to the rest of the World. Some traditions even say Eve gave Adam a Pomegranate, not an Apple! The fruit is an integral part of the Persian culture – from all the molasses, pastes – (“rob'”) and fresh juices that appear in our cuisine, to the pomegranate skin used to dye wool and silk for the production of carpets.
Pomegranates in Rosh Hashana symbolize fertility, as they do in most cultures. I’ve also read they are believed to have 613 seeds, the same number of commandments of the Torah.
Pomegranates in Persian and Islamic cultures are also considered a fruit that grows in the gardens of paradise. My favorite pomegranate experience is: drinking freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, sitting on a carpeted bed, at an outdoor juice bar – hiking up the Alborz moutains/ north of Tehran.
I was inspired by the idea of Adam and Eve coming together and ending their separation for todays Blog – and went to this Beyt/Couplet. That separation has ended and the happy/sweet scent of happiness and union is coming:
حافظا شب هجران شد بوی خوش وصل آمد
شادیت مبارک باد ای عاشق شیدایی
Hafez-a shab-eh hejran shod – booyeh kohsh-eh vassl amad
Shadi-at mobarak bad Ey ashegh-eh sheida-ee
Oh Hafez – the eve of separation comes to a close and the sweet smell of union is upon us
Congratulations my friend and greetings for your joy too – my love-sick friend!
Happy Rosh Hashana! “Shanah Tovah”!