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Can Rosh Hashanah fall on any day of the week?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

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The Jewish perpetual calendar was arranged in a manner which ensures that the first day of Rosh Hashanah will never take place on Sunday, Wednesday or Friday. This guarantees that Yom Kippur will not fall on a Friday or Sunday, which would produce two consecutive days during which preparing food and burying the dead is prohibited,1 and that Hoshanah Rabbah will not occur on Shabbat, which would interfere with the custom of taking the willows on this day.

[Ed. note: Also read about "Why is Yom Kippur never on a Sunday?"]

Footnotes

  • 1. Talmud tractate Rosh Hashanah 20a

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Miscellaneous » The Jewish Calendar

Shabbat
(pl: Shabbatot). Hebrew word meaning "rest." It is a Biblical commandment to sanctify and rest on Saturday, the seventh day of the week. This commemorates the fact that after creating the world in six days, G-d rested on the seventh.
Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year. An early autumn two day holiday marking the creation of Adam and Eve. On this day we hear the blasts of the ram's horn and accept G-d's sovereignty upon ourselves and the world. On Rosh Hashanah we pray that G-d should grant us all a sweet New Year.
Yom Kippur
Day of Atonement. This late-autumn high-holiday is the holiest day of the year. We devote this day to repentance and all healthy adults are required to fast.