When Is Rosh Hashanah 2016? Find Exact Time Jewish New Year Begins

The 2016 observance of Rosh Hashanah — the traditional Jewish New Year and the second-most important holiday on the Hebrew calendar — begins on the evening of Sunday, October 2. Because the ancient calendar does not correspond to the “Roman” calendar used internationally, Rosh Hashanah falls on a different day each year.

The “day” in Jewish tradition does not last simply from midnight to midnight, like a secular day, but instead begins in the evening, with the first appearance of stars in the sky. That means the time when Rosh Hashanah begins, with the ceremonial lighting of candles, differs depending on where you live.

Here’s How To Find the Rosh Hashanah Time In Your Area

The orthodox Jewish organization Chabad provides an easy online form for looking up exactly when Rosh Hashanah begins and ends in most locations around the world. Access the Chabad candle-lighting times lookup by clicking on this link.

The page will display the Rosh Hashanah start time in Tel Aviv. Click the word “change” immediately to the right of “Tel Aviv, Israel” and enter your own location to get the precise minute that Rosh Hashanah begins where you are.

For example, if you live in Boston, Massachusetts, Rosh Hashanah begins October 2 at 6:05 p.m. Eastern Time. Out west in Los Angeles, California, Rosh Hashanah formally begins at 6:17 p.m. Pacific on Sunday.

Another important fact to note for Jews, or anyone who plans to observe Rosh Hashanah, is that the Jewish New Year holiday lasts not just one day, as in secular tradition, but two. In Jewish tradition the New Year isn’t a party holiday, but a time for thoughtful reflection on the year gone by, and cultivating a spirit of renewal and hope for the year to come.

Contemplation takes time. You can’t rush it.

Jewish tradition adds about an hour to the end of holy days, however, so candle lighting-time on the second day of the holiday in Boston will be 7:03 p.m. on October 3. The holiday ends on Tuesday, October 4 at 7:01 p.m.

To give a few other examples, in Chicago, Illinois, the holiday begins at 6:10 p.m., but in Denver, Colorado, Jews should light their candles at 6:22 p.m.

In Jerusalem, Israel, the holiest city in Judaism, the 2016 Rosh Hashanah begins at 5:43 p.m. But in Israel’s secular, politically recognized capital city of Tel Aviv, holiday candle lighting occurs at 6:02 p.m.

Rosh Hashanah — which translates as “head of the year” — in 2016 marks the beginning of year 5777 on the Hebrew calendar, and as always, the start of the month of Tishrei, which is actually the seventh month of the calendar.

That seeming anomaly occurs because there are actually four New Years in Judaism. But the first days of Tishrei are the most important, because they mark the anniversary of the day God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, according to the Torah, the Jewish holy book.

Rosh Hashanah 2016 – 2017 Dates

When does Rosh Hashanah start and end in 2016? Get the date details for 2016 and 2017, along with recipes, greetings and other information.

Click here to read more

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  1. Tishrei is the seventh month of the calendar? How’s that?

    Unfortunately, Tel Aviv is no more the “recognized capital” of Israel than Netanya or Ashkelon. It’s just that most of the foreign embassies are located there, although some are in Herzliya and Ramat Gan and other places. The Ministry of Defense is there too, for historical/security reasons, but could be anywhere else. The problem with Jerusalem is recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the territory of the united city after it annexed East Jerusalem in 1967/1980 (some countries such as the UK still have a problem with West Jerusalem too, because of the 1947 Partition Plan, but that’s largely obsolete). There were still 13 embassies in West Jerusalem until Israel passed the Jerusalem Law in 1980, which raised the level of the 1967 administrative annexation to constitutional level (Basic Law). Otherwise a country can put its capital wherever it likes, there’s nothing to “recognize” or not recognize. Under international law, East Jerusalem is no different from the rest of the West Bank (and its outlying parts will most probably be returned to it), so the problem remains open until a final peace, if and when. It would be great if Tel Aviv-Jaffa were the capital, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen.