New Year – Back to School

 

 

 

Luke 1: 5-20

Qu’ran Sura 19

…there was a priest named Zachariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron.  Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.  But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.  When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.  But the angle said to him: “Do not be afrad, Zechariah, your prayer has been heard.  Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John…and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth.

Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this?  I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

The angel answered,”I am Gabriel.  I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.  And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words…”

“O Zachariah!  Verily We announce to thee a son. – his name John.

That name we have given to none before him.”

He said, “O my Lord! How when my wife is barren shall I have a son, and when I have now reached old age, failing in my powers?”

He said: “So shall it be.  Thy Lord hath said, Easy is this to Me, for I created thee aforetime when thou wast nothing.”

He said: “Vouchsafe me, O my Lord! a sign.”  He said: “Thy sign shall be that for three nights, though sound in health, thou speakest not to man.”

And he came forth from the sanctuary to his people, and made signs to them to sign praises morn and even.

We said: “Oh John! Receive the Book with purpose of heart.” And We bestowed on him wisdom while yet a child;

And mercifulness from Ourself, and purity; and pious was he and duteous to his parents; and not proud, rebellious.

And peace was on him on the day he was born, and the day of his death, and shall be on the day when he shall be raised to life!

Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim, "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."

 

Rosh HaShanah. September 9-10, 2010

The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance; for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance thereof, and serves as the first of the "Ten Days of Repentance" which will culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

 

Who is a G-d like You, who pardons iniquity

and forgives transgression for the remnant of His heritage?

He does not maintain His wrath forever, for He desires [to do] kindness.

He will again show us mercy, He will suppress our iniquities;

and You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

“On the first day of Rosh Hashanah after the afternoon prayer, we go to a lake, river or sea (preferably a body of water that has fish), and recite the Tashlich prayers, wherein we symbolically cast our sins into the water and leave our old shortcomings behind us, thus starting the new year with a clean slate.”

Yom Kippur  September 19, 2010

Yom Kippur commemorates the day that G‑d forgave the Jewish people for the sin of the Golden Calf. Forty days after hearing G‑d say at Mount Sinai: "You shall not have the gods of others in My presence; you shall not make for yourself a graven image," the Jews committed the cardinal sin of idolatry. Moses spent nearly three months on top of the mountain pleading with G‑d for forgiveness, and on the tenth of Tishrei it was finally granted: "I have pardoned, as you have requested."  From that moment on, this date, henceforth known as the Day of Atonement, is annually observed as a commemoration of our special relationship with G‑d, a relationship that is strong enough to survive any rocky bumps it might encounter.

Fast of John the Baptist August 29, 2010

According to the Synoptic Gospels, Herod had imprisoned John because he reproved Herod for divorcing his wife (Phasaelis), and unlawfully taking his brother Herod Philip I‘s wife, Herodias. On Herod’s birthday, Herodias’ daughter (traditionally named Salome) danced before the king and his guests. Her dancing pleased Herod so much that in his drunkenness he promised to give her anything she desired, up to half of his kingdom. When the daughter asked her mother what she should request, she was told to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Although Herod was appalled by the request, he reluctantly agreed and had John executed in the prison.

 

Eid al Fitr September 10, 2010

Eid Al-Fitr is a holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting which is one of the greatest religious observances in Islam.

 

Laylat Al Qadr  September 6, 2010

Day of revelation of the Qu’ran to Mohammed.  It can be the beginning of a 10 day dedication and retreat into a Mosque for some Muslims.

 

 

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