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Happy New Year (Rosh Hashanah)

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Wednesday 8 September 2010 8.43am
Just googled Rosh Hashanah and the Jewish New Year 5771 is from sunset September 8, 2010 - nightfall September 10, 2010.
Wednesday 8 September 2010 9.36am
??It last for two days??

Must be some party. Or maybe there's one day to get over the NYE party, and another to celebrate the New Year itself. I think that's an excellent idea. We should start lobbying now to have that implemented for the whole country.

If this is Yr 5771, what happened in Yr 0? (Apologies if that's a stupid question, but it's genuine. My guesses would be that it's either creation, or that it's whatever event is recognised as the beginning of Judaism.)

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 8 September 2010 9.55am
You could just as easily ask if this is Yr 2010 what happened to year 0. I believe the Jewish Year 5771 is equivalent to the Gregorian year 3660BC give or take a year. Christians date everthing from the birth of Christ, but I have no idea from when the Jewish calendar is calculated. Must have another look at Wiki.
Wednesday 8 September 2010 10.58am
Y'know, Abraham, Isaac, Moses and all that lot. Actually it's all shrouded in myth and who knows if we ever did build pyramids or escape from Egypt...however, we gratefully receive your good wishes for Shana Tova (a good year)here in Tel Aviv where it is HOT and STICKY...
Wednesday 8 September 2010 12.42pm
Sorry if I caused confusion. I suppose I might have meant: what happened in Year 1?

If it's "Abraham, Isaac,...", then I'm guessing that Year 0/1 is the start of the Jewish people/religion.

Maybe I need to go and have a look myself (as I am genuinely curious as to what event is regarded as the start of the Jewish people/religion.

I suppose I'm asking myself whether Adam was the first Jew or whether it was someone else. My rusty OT knowledge leads me to believe that it wouldn't be Adam - because I'm telling myself that there was some sort of new covenant between humans and God, and that this comes some time after creation - but I would bet against me knowing the right answer in this case.

...if you press it, they will come.
Wednesday 8 September 2010 6.00pm
No no, Ivanhoe, not Adam, he was just the first MAN. Abraham was the first Jew which is why half of the men in Israel are called Abraham, the others are mostly called Isaac, Jacob, and Moses...too tedious. (Well fortunately modern Israeli children have a bigger selection of names). I THINK (not sure) that the 5000 bit may be dated from Abraham's exit from Ur. There is a brilliant book called "How to Read the Bible" by Joseph Kugel who is both a religious Jew and a total sceptic historian - quite an astonishing mixture. ie. He observes all the formal religious laws of Judaism, but nevertheless writes that actually all this "chosen people" stuff is a lot of old hooey and all the stories of the OT have equivalents in dozens of other civilisations...really a riveting book and with no necessity of being Jewish or anything else to make it a gripping tome. Kugel was professor of Bible at Harvard and apparently his lectures were the most oversubscribed ever!
Wednesday 8 September 2010 8.52pm
Thanks Jackie. The only answer I could find from a brief surf was that year 1 started with the last day of creation, and that year 0 only had 5 days in it: the 6th day - creating man - being day 1 of Year 1, and the first Sunday being day 2 of Yr 1 (but that was a Wiki Answer, so who knows whether it's true).

...if you press it, they will come.
Thursday 9 September 2010 7.43am
If man was created by a superior being, how come our brains don't have a copy, paste, delete dropdown menu?

There are 2 theories to explain the universe.
1. It has always existed, or the 'God' who created it has always existed, and I can't get my head around that.
2. Nothing existed and suddenly the universe appeared from 'nothing' and that is equally incomprehensible.

Is it possible to imagine the concept of 'nothing' anyway, not to be confused with empty or void.

If you can put something into an empty space/void then that space exists and is 'something'. It's easy to imagine an empty space, but can you go beyond the empty space and grasp the concept of 'nothing'? I can't anyway.
Thursday 9 September 2010 7.59am we are getting into quantum physics..where is Stephen Hawkings when you need him? Let's nominate him as an honorary member of the forum.
Thursday 9 September 2010 10.22am
All interesting questions, phoney (although way over my head), but imho they're not relevant to religion (because religion ultimately comes down to believing something and not caring whether or not the current version of science agrees that it may be possible)

...if you press it, they will come.

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