September 9th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Rosh Hashanah with the Lubavitchers in a Queens cemetery

Sunset Wednesday marked the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The holiday brought CNN photojournalist Rick Shine to the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Queens, New York.

All morning, people came to pray at the grave site of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

Schneerson's gravesite is considered sacred by some orthodox Jews. Some Jews visit cemeteries to offer of prayers of intercession to tzaddikim, or the righteous, on the day before Rosh Hashanah.

Many Lubavitchers come to Queens to pray for a sweet new year and to leave a letter to Schneerson. The Chabad-Lubavitch Media Center will even drop off a letter, faxed or e-mailed in, for Jews unable to make the trip out to Queens.

On Thursday, Jews around the world will dip pieces of an apple into honey and eat it as way to pray for a sweet new year.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Food • Holidays • Judaism • Leaders • New York • United States

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Iqbal khan


    October 29, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  2. Reality

    Rosh Hashana has two names in Jewish tradition: the Bible refers to it as Yom Terua (Day of Raising a Cry, or Day of Sounding the Ram's Horn) or Yom Zichron Terua (Day of Remembering the Terua), and later rabbinic texts call it Yom Hadin, Day of Judgment.

    The ram's horn. The Bible mandates the blowing of a shofar, or ram's horn, on Rosh Hashana. There are numerous reasons suggested for this practice:

    •It recalls the biblical story of the Binding of Isaac, in which the patriarch Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac at God's command, but in the end sacrificed a ram instead.
    •It is reminiscent of the blowing of the ram's horn before the Israelite army went into battle.
    •Its sound arouses the lethargic soul from moral slumber and spurs a process of repentance.
    •It foreshadows the ram's horn that will be blown by the Messiah in the eschatological future.
    The sounding of the ram's horn takes place at several points throughout synagogue services on Rosh Hashana, unless it falls on Shabbat, in which case the shofar is not blown at all.

    Some comments:

    The 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the USA and their rabbis have written Abraham out of their "New Torah for Modern Minds" as they have concluded that he was a myth.

    Sounding the ram's horn to represent the Jewish army marching into battle is not recommended concerning most of these battles as per the Torah ended up in the slaughter of the enemy to include women and children.

    And the Messiah? Hmmm, got too many of these already!!!

    September 9, 2010 at 10:43 am |
    • David Johnson

      "The 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the USA and their rabbis have written Abraham out of their "New Torah for Modern Minds" as they have concluded that he was a myth."

      I didn't know that. I warn you, I may steal this fact from you. LOL

      September 9, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
    • Reality


      Read more about it at http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482

      September 9, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
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