Mountain Jews of Azerbaijan celebrate Rosh Hashanah

Guba, September 21, AZERTAC

Azerbaıjan’s Mountain Jews living in Guba region celebrate Rosh Hashanah, which marks the beginning of the New Year in the Jewish calendar. According to AZERTAC, during the two-day holiday, residents of the Krasnaya Sloboda village in Guba region read prayers in the synagogue, help the needy, gather at the festive table, ask the Almighty to forgive their sins.

Like the Jews of the whole world, the inhabitants of the Krasnaya Sloboda village also meet 5778th year according to the Jewish calendar. Although the date of the Rosh Hashanah holiday varies depending on the calendar, usually this holiday falls on September.

Krasnaya Sloboda is one of the rare places in the world densely populated by the Jews. The Jews living in this village, which is called "Israel of the Caucasus", have been keeping their traditions for many years. The religious community and the center of the national culture of the Jews are functioning here.

Yavushva Simanduyev, principal of school No 1 named after Isakov Khanukov in Krasnaya Sloboda, said that the Rosh Hashanah dinner always includes carrots, fish heads, pomegranates, apple and honey. Carrots sliced with mugs symbolize gold coins, well-being, and the fish symbolizes the eldest member of the family.

The settlement of Krasnaya Sloboda is located on the left bank of the Gudyalchai river in Guba. Here the Jews have lived together with the Azerbaijanis for many years in peace and tranquility. The history of the settlement of Mountain Jews in the territory of Guba region goes back to the middle of the 18th century. During the reign of Fatali khan, the Jews living in the surrounding territories began to move here. More than 10 synagogues were built in the Jewish neighborhoods at that time.

Rosh Hashanah is solemnly celebrated by the Jews living in different parts of the world. Its customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram's horn), as prescribed in the Torah, following the prescription of the Hebrew Bible to "raise a noise" on Yom Teruah; and among its rabbinical customs is attending synagogue services and enjoying festive meals. Eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey is now a tradition, hoping thereby to evoke a "sweet new year".


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