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    Best of the Web: Rosh Hashanah

    From ModernTribe to you -- our picks for Rosh Hashanah 5770, Best of the Web:

    Best New Videos

    The Shofar & The Dog

    Sweet Rosh Hashanah From

    Best E-Cards

    Some E Cards

    Here's to another year of lunatics focusing their conspiracy theories on the Obama administration instead of on the Jews

    Best Taste Test

    Tablet Magazine
    The Tablet staff discovers the perfect apple-honey combo

    Best Recipes

    Moment Magazine
    Pomegranate Recipes from Joan Nathan

    Second Best Attempt At Rosh Hashanah Humor

    (first being our own Rosh Hashanah honey video)
    Top Ten Tashlich Pickup Lines

    Found things on the web, new for Rosh Hashanah 5770, that shouldn't be missed? Please comment to let us know!

    Cool Jew New You Giveaway - For Rosh Hashanah

    The Winner Is: Michele P., Philadelphia

    "The mainstream New Year is often about resolutions and I no longer 'just resolve' to do anything. It sounds passive and gives me a feeling of a last ditch attempt, like I've let something go horridly wrong in the past. The shofar, and the Jewish New Year, is empowering, it is about opening one's eyes.

    So, my wake up call is to be more aware every day. Be aware of my temple needs, as membership chair, be aware of the Jewish community and, the mainstream, to help all not just a group. To be aware of my role as a mother and wife. To be aware of my own needs and desires, to be the best person I can be. To network more to help raise others up to their aspirations. So, the shofar call is my awareness call, and it isn't even sounding yet, and I can see more clearly and hear it echo through me - I am honestly blessed."

    Congratulations Michele!

    Rosh Hashanah begins the eve of Friday, September 18th, this year. The Jewish New Year is a time for contemplation: reflecting on the past year and planning for the new. The shofar (ram's horn) is blown, calling people to wake up from their moral sleep, think about their behavior, and become better people.

    In what ways are you "casting off" and starting new this year?

    This is our question for the Cool Jew New You Giveaway, happening in conjunction with the Cool Jew Artist Showcase on Sunday, September 13th at the JCC of Manhattan. Many of the contributors to the giveaway will be performing at the event. Learn more about the JCC event.

    click pic to enlarge

    click pic to enlarge

    One lucky winner will receive the following gifts:

    Comment to Enter:
    "In what ways are you "casting off" and starting new this year?"

    Important Information:
    • Please make sure your email is available to us, either through your Blogger profile, post or otherwise. If we can't reach you, you can't win.
    • Check back here or sign up for our Newsletter (sign up box is on top right) to be notified of the winner on September 17.
    • How we pick the winners -- We use a random number generator and if it matches (a) a real attempt at an answer (which all of them usually are) and (b) we can contact the person (we will go searching for your contact on your blog, Twitter, website), then that person is the winner. If either (a) or (b) isn't true, we generate another random number and start over.
    • No purchase is required to enter. This contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada 18 years old and older. Void where prohibited. Your comments will be displayed without further approval or compensation.

    Rosh Hashanah High Holiday FAQ 5770

    The High Holidays are coming up soon! Here's a quick FAQ on what the Days of Awe are all about:

    When are the High Holidays in 2009 (5770)?

    Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Friday, September 18 and ends at nightfall on Sunday, September 20. The Jewish New Year is celebrated on September 19 and, for Conservative and Orthodox Jews, also on September 20.

    Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins at sundown on Sunday, September 27 and ends at nightfall on Monday, September 28 and is observed for one day by all Jewish denominations.

    The Jewish holidays are based on a lunar calendar, so their dates vary each year on the Gregorian calendar.

    What is Rosh Hashanah?

    Rosh Hashanah (literally, head of the year) is the Jewish New Year. It is one of the Days of Awe, during which Jews go to synagogue to reflect on the past year and think about how they would like to improve themselves the next year. Part of this process is apologizing to the people you have wronged last year--this is the origin of Stephen Colbert's OOPS-JEW hotline!

    During the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah, Jews often perform the ceremony of Tashlikh (Hebrew for "casting off"): they throw bits of bread into a flowing body of water to symbolize casting off last year's sins.

    Jews often send Rosh Hashanah cards with the Hebrew greeting L'Shanah Tovah (literally, "for a good year") to wish family and friends a good year.

    Because the Days of Awe span 10 days, there is always at least one Shabbat (from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday) between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This is called Shabbat Shuvah, or the Sabbath of Return, meaning that Jews should return to G-d and the principles of the Torah (the Hebrew Bible).

    What is the shofar?

    The shofar is a ram's horn that is played as a musical instrument to awaken people to the new year. In fact, the Hebrew Bible calls the holiday not Rosh Hashanah, but Yom Teruah, the day for sounding the shofar.

    What do Jews eat on Rosh Hashanah?

    Apples, challah bread, and honey are traditional Rosh Hashanah foods. Jews often dip apple or challah slices in honey to symbolize a wish for a sweet new year. Special round challah is often made for the new year, symbolizing the circle or cycle of the year.

    What is Yom Kippur?

    Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement, one of the High Holy Days. It is traditional to pray in a synagogue to atone for last year's sins. Typically services start in the morning and last until the early afternoon. Jews may then take a nap or participate in discussions about Jewish teachings, then evening services conclude the day. Jews often fast as a sacrifice symbolizing their atonement and attempts at self-improvement, but because Judaism values health above all else, fasting is not encouraged if medically inadvisable. Some Jewish people also refrain from wearing leather shoes on Yom Kippur, so as not to tread on the cow from which the leather came.

    When does Yom Kippur end?

    Yom Kippur ends at nightfall on Monday, September 28. At this time, hungry Jews have a break-the-fast gathering with their family and friends!