Rosh Hashana 5772 | L'Shana Tova

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This year Rosh Hashana commenced on the evening of 28 September 2011 which is actually the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar in the year 5772. Rosh Hashana (Hebrew: ראש השנה‎, literally means "head of the year," and is commonly referred to as the "Jewish New Year.

Rosh Hashanah is the first of the High Holidays or Yamim Noraim ("Days of Awe"), or Asseret Yemei Teshuva (Ten Days of Repentance) which are days specifically set aside to focus on repentance that conclude with the holiday of Yom Kippur.Source: Wikipedia

As Rosh Hashanah and the Days of Awe begin, Jews around the world will celebrate a joyous New Year before entering a penitential state of fasting and reflection. שנה טובה ומבורכת , שנת בטחון וללא פיגועים !!! to all my Jewish friends, family and readers.

Happy Ethiopian New Year | Melkam Addis Amet

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Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 13:33 PM EDT, 10 September 2011

Enkutatash - 11.9.11This is an inspirational time of the year because of the proximity of the major holidays of the Abrahamic religions.

We have just concluded Ramadan and now we are celebrating the Ethiopian New Year.  Enkutatash is the  word for new year in Amharic the official language of Ethiopia.

The new year is also known as Ri'se Awde Amet (Head Anniversary) in Ge'ez, an appellation preferred by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

It occurs on September 11 in the Gregorian calendar, except for leap years, when it occurs on September 12. The Ethiopian calendar year 1998 'Amätä Məhrät ("Year of Mercy") began on September 11, 2005. However, the Ethiopian years 1996 and 1992 AM began on September 12, 2003 and 1999, respectively.

This date correspondence applies from the Gregorian years 1900 to 2099. Generally, because every fourth Ethiopian year is a leap year without exception, while Gregorian years divisible by 100 are not leap years, a set of corresponding dates will thus apply only for one century. However, because the Gregorian year 2000 is a leap year, then in this case the correspondences continue for two centuries. (Source: Wikipedia)

The Ethiopian New Year will be followed by the Jewish High Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.  We honor all of our readers by acknowledging and celebrating their holy holidays and we thank them and wish them happiness and joy on during these perennial festivals.

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Eid Mubarak 2011 | Happy Ramadan

Ayanna Nahmias, Editor-in-ChiefLast Modified: 01:45 AM EDT, 3 August 2011

To all of our Muslim readers we would like to wish you a very Happy Ramadan.  Having just broken the fast with our dear friends from Tunisia, we are privileged to have had the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to diversity and the values of religious tolerance that we espouse.

"Toleration isn't much. But it is the first step towards curiosity, interest, study, understanding, appreciating and finally valuing diversity. If we can get everyone on the first step of tolerance, at least we won't be killing each other." ~ Anon (taken from the Native American Indian Traditional Code of Ethics. Inter-Tribal Times, 1994-OCT)

Eid Mubarak!

"There will be peace on earth when there is peace among the world religions." ~ Hans Kung, Theologian

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Intro to the Ethiopic Calendar

Intro to the Ethiopic Calendar

Teshome Shewaye is an Ethiopian citizen who provided the NCR with a more detailed account of the Ethiopic Calendar. The Ethiopic Calendar differs from the Hebrew, Islamic and Gregorian Calendars and is followed by more than 80 million people worldwide. “The day starts with sunrise” is the conceptual basis for the clock in Ethiopia and many of its neighbors. Being near the equator this translates to roughly 6 AM each day with an even 12 hours of light and darkness with only a little seasonal drifting. A twelve hour clock is used that begins at “12 AM” with sunrise (aka 6 AM in the West), reaches “noon” at “6 AM”, followed by “12 PM” 6 hours later and “6 PM” at “midnight”. Think of it as a clock or watch with the “6” at the top and the “12” at the bottom.

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Happy Mother's Day | Global Visions

“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.” ~ Washington Irving Enjoy the day but do not diminish it with trite cards, empty sentiment or soon to wilt flowers. Remember that the most enduring gift that a mother gives her child is often unseen, unheard, and unnoticed - her prayers. Abraham Lincoln was once quoted "I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life."

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State of the World's Mothers | The Mother Index

Today, 03 May 2011, the organization Save the Children released its annual report 'State of the World's Mothers,' also referred to as the Mother's Index, it ranks countries by the care each country provides for its most precious resources - mothers and children. I was sad to learn that America continues to decline in ranking as it embraces corporatism at the sacrifice of family. Many mothers, including myself, often find ourselves on the loosing side of the battle to balance work and motherhood. A battle in which we are required on a daily basis to choose work over our welfare or that of our children. It is true that many in the world could accuse us of being soft and spoiled and I would have to agree on whole because the quality of life in America far out strips that of most mothers and children in many other countries. However, this fact does not diminish the struggles that American mothers are increasingly facing, and which is evidenced by America's decreased standing among developed nations.

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Melkam Gena | Ethiopian Christmas 2011

Melkam Gena | Ethiopian Christmas 2011

The Ethiopian church places a heavier emphasis on Old Testament teachings than one might find in any of the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant churches, and its followers adhere to certain practices that one finds in Orthodox or Conservative Judaism. Ethiopian Christians, like some other Eastern Christians, traditionally follow dietary rules that are similar to Jewish Kashrut, specifically with regard to how an animal is slaughtered. Similarly, pork is prohibited, though unlike Rabbinical Kashrut, Ethiopian cuisine does mix dairy products with meat. Women are prohibited from entering the church during menses; they are also expected to cover their hair with a large scarf (or shash) while in church, per 1 Cor. 11. As with Orthodox synagogues, men and women are seated separately in the Ethiopian church, with men on the left and women on the right (when facing the altar). (Women covering their heads and separation of the sexes in church houses officially is common to some Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Christians, as well as many conservative Protestant and Anabaptist traditions; it also is the rule in some non-Christian religions, Islam and Orthodox Judaism among them.) Ethiopian Orthodox worshipers remove their shoes when entering a church, in accordance with Exodus 3:5 (in which Moses, while viewing the burning bush, is commanded to remove his shoes while standing on holy ground). Christmas is a public holiday in Ethiopia, and on Christmas Eve's night (Christmas Eve is on January 6, Christmas on January 7), Christian priests carry a procession through town carrying umbrellas with fancy decorations. (Christmas is called Ganna in Ethiopia) Then the procession finally ends at local churches where Christmas mass is held. (Christmas mass can also be held on Christmas morning). Then on Christmas morning, the people open presents and then they play outdoor sports (that are native to Africa) to celebrate. Usually the wealthy shares a medium-sized feast with the poor and a large feast with their family and friends.

Dishes include Doro Wat and Injera. Most people usually put up decorations that symbolize something relating to Christmas, like a male infant to represent the birth of Christ, or a small Christmas tree to represent Christmas decorations. (Source: Wikipedia)

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