"In the earliest times the Hebrew year began in autumn with the opening of the economic year. There followed in regular succession the seasons of seed-sowing, growth and ripening of the corn under the influence of the former and the latter rains, harvest and ingathering of the fruits. In harmony with this was the order of the great agricultural festivals, according to the oldest legislation, namely, the feast of unleavened bread at the beginning of the barley harvest, in the month of Aviv; the feast of harvest, seven weeks later; and the feast of ingathering at the going out or turn of the year (Ex. 23:14-17; 34:18, 22-23; Deut. 16:1-16).So much has changed for me in this past year, and I expect so much more to change. I have twice contemplated ending this blogging, and twice I have been convinced to continue. I have been challenged at work, and I will continue to be challenged. I have been put to the test physically in martial arts, and I will continue to meet each challenge. I have fallen in and out of love, and I expect to continue to learn what love really is. I have lost weight, and I have gotten in better shape. I have made mistakes, and I have mended fences. I have fallen flat on my face, and I have gotten back up stronger than before. I have been lost in Hebrew conversations, and I have gained better understanding.
This system of dating the New-Year is that which was adopted by the Semites generally, while other peoples, as the Greeks and Persians, began the year in spring, both methods of reckoning being primarily agricultural and based on the seasons of seed-time and harvest. Josephus asserts (l.c. i. 3, § 3) that while Moses appointed Nisan to be the first month for the sacred festivals and other solemnities, he preserved the original order of the months for buying and selling and for the transaction of other business.
It is altogether probable that the beginning of the year was celebrated from ancient times in some special way, like the New Moon festival. The earliest reference, however, to such a custom is, probably, in the account of the vision of Ezekiel (Ezek. 40:1) which, as stated above, took place at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month (Tishri). On the same day the beginning of the year of jubilee was to be proclaimed by the blowing of trumpets (Lev. 25:9). According to the Septuagint rendering of Ezek. 45:20-25, special sacrifices were to be offered on the first day of the seventh month as well as on the first day of the first month. This first day of the seventh month was appointed by the Law to be "a day of blowing of trumpets." There was to be a holy convocation; no servile work was to be done; and special sacrifices were to be offered (Lev. 23:23-25; Num. 29:1-6; comp. ib. 10:1-10). This day was not expressly called New-Year's Day, but it was evidently so regarded by the Jews at a very early period.
The observance of the 1st of Tishri as Rosh ha-Shanah, the most solemn day next to Yom Kippur, is based principally on the traditional law to which the mention of "Zikkaron" (= "memorial day"; Lev. 23:24) and the reference of Ezra to the day as one "holy to Hashem" (Neh. 8:9) seem to point. The passage in Psalms (81:1-5) referring to the solemn feast which is held on New Moon Day, when the shofar is sounded, as a day of "mishpat" (judgment) of "the G-d of Jacob" is taken to indicate the character of Rosh ha-Shanah.
As a whole, here in Israel we have experienced terrorism and we have felt peace. We have been betrayed, and we have been inspired. We have been left with questions, and we have sought out the answers. In the end the struggle for our purpose continues, and our search for the real path of Israel continues.