Hello Israel

Rosh Hashanah is celebrated for two days in Israel, so this year it begins at sundown on Sunday, September 13, and ends at sundown on Tuesday, September 15.

If you or someone you know is planning to be in Israel at this time, you should know that as with Shabbat, holidays such as Rosh Hashanah bring public transportation to a halt. That means trains and busses do not run anywhere in the country on Rosh Hashanah; they stop running in the late afternoon of September 13, and resume after dark on September 15. Sheruts (shared taxis) will be available, but there is no knowing how long you might have to wait for one to fill up. If you are visiting Israel and are thinking of renting a car, you are likely to find the rental offices closed at 1 p.m. on September 13.

While Rosh Hashanah is not a very convenient time to get around in Israel, what better place could there be to hear the traditional blast of the shofar. According to Jewish tradition 100 (or 101) shofar blasts are sounded in the synagogue to symbolize God’s sovereignty over the world, to remind Jews of the giving of the commandments on Mt. Sinai, of Abraham and Isaac’s devotion to God, to arouse people to repentance and to herald the Day of Judgment and the coming of the Messiah.

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