Rosh Hashana 5774 Begins at sundown, September 4, 2013

As we approach the beginning of a new Hebrew year, 5774, I wanted to wish all of you “L’Shana Tova u’Metuka” – A good and a sweet year.

I also wanted to share with you the following intriguing facts related to the year we are about to enter. Several authorities believe this is more than just interesting, but deserves some prayerful and thoughtful consideration. What might the God of Israel be wanting His people to understand about this New Year? Read and ponder.


1) the last time Rosh Hashanah began as early as September 5th was 1899.

2) The last time Rosh Hashanah fell on September 5th
a) an 8.3 earthquake shook Yakatut bay, Alaska,
b) the Great Blizzard of 1899 pounded South Florida with snow,
c) Queens and Staten Island became part of New York City,
d) the Bronx Zoo opened,
e) voting machines were okay’d for US federal elections,
f) the paperclip and Bayer aspirin were patented,
g) fighting in Afghanistan continued to rage (then it was the British but sadly some things never change).

3) The Jewish calendar works on a 19 year cycle adding a 13th month (Adar 2) in years 3, 6, 8, 11, 14, 17 and 19. This is year 17 of that cycle and represents the longest possible year in the Jewish calendar: 385 days. The Jewish calendar is based primarily on the lunar cycle, and makes these adjustments in order to keep the holidays in sync with with solar seasons.

This keeps Passover in the spring and Sukkot in the fall. While it is not uncommon for the calendar to add a month during these leap years or for the holidays to be “early” or “late”, what is different this year is the extreme “earliness” in relation to the secular calendar.

4)It will be another 76 years (2089) until Rosh Hashanah comes this early again, in the Jewish counting 5850.

5) This year the first night of Hanukkah and the American Thanksgiving holiday are on the same day! This is the first time that this has happened since President Lincoln originally established Thanksgiving in 1863 and it is also the last time it will happen until the year 79,811; in other words, after this year, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving Day won’t overlap for another 77,798 years!


What is the likelihood of this many different facts converging in this new year about to begin?

We’d love to hear back from you. Share your musings about it by writing us or leaving a comment below.

May you all be abundantly blessed in this new – and longest – year on the Hebrew calendar!

L’Shana Tova

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