Monday, September 17, 2007

Rosh Hashanah 2007 round-up

Here, have some (kosher) links :) :

RH: A day at the opera (etc.)

To eat or not to eat, that is the question (This one comes complete with an update. How does one listen to the rabbi's instructions when said instructions are deleterious to one's health?)

Too slow to pray with kavannah, no matter where I pray

2 Comments:

Blogger Nikol said...

That's all fine. What, however, do you think about Obadiah Shoher's criticism pf Rosh Hashanah as aholiday that has nothing to do with New Year? Here, for example http://samsonblinded.org/blog/petty-paganism.htm

Mon Sep 17, 11:58:00 AM 2007  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

I'm not concerned about the pagan origins of some Jewish customs. My understanding is that some of these customs were so thoroughly embedded in the local culture that the rabbis gave up trying to eradicate them, and, instead, found Jewish interpretations for them. (Tashlich is a prime example, I've heard.)

Without the local influence, pagan or otherwise, many of our long-accepted Jewish customs would not exist. Name me a culture--pagan or otherwise--that *doesn't* kindle fires at the winter solstice, the time of the year when the days are shortest? Pagans, Jews, and Christians all have that custom. We made our version Jewish by tying it to the Maccabi victory and using a Chanukiyah/Chanukah menorah.

There’s a contested theory that we borrowed the custom of costumes on Purim from the Carnival that many Catholics celebrate just before the beginning of Lent. See DovBear’s post here for an interesting discussion on this question. (Don’t miss the comments to that post.)

My all-time favorite, though, is the theory, which I heard from a previous rabbi of ours, that the Seder is actually based on the original, ancient Greek version of the symposium. See here.

By the way, here’s the method for adding a link in a comment. Replace every ( with a < and every ) with a >, and this should work:

(A HREF="put the link here">put the text here, whatever you want the reader to click on(/A)

My thanks to Kiwi the Geek for the link lesson.

Mon Sep 17, 01:20:00 PM 2007  

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