Guest Posting From Chabakuk Elisha: Two-Day Yom Tov
We celebrate Rosh Hashanah for two days, and we refer to it as "Yom Arichta" (a long day). What is the meaning of this term? How can a day be long or short? The cycle of a day consists of one day and one night.
I remember hearing the Bostoner Rebbe (of NY/ Beit-Shemesh), Rabbi Chaim Avrohom HaLevi Horowitz Shlit"a, explain this concept as follows:
It takes 48 hours for a day to pass around the world, thus in a simple sense "Yom Arichta" is a 48-hour day. Although it may be Sunday in one place on the globe, it may be Monday somewhere else. If Rosh Hashanah begins at the date line, so (for example) the Jews of New Zealand welcome in Yom Tov while Jews around the world are still preparing for Yom Tov.
24-hours later, the Jews in Hawaii begin their Rosh Hashanah and New Zealand's Jews end their first day. If Rosh Hashanah was only a "short day" of 24-hours, New Zealand's Rosh Hashanah would be over at this point. "Yom Arichta", a 48-hour observance of Rosh Hashanah, gives Jews everywhere in the world the ability to be celebrate Rosh Hashanah together as one.
We live in a fragmented reality, in a world full of discord and divisions that hide our true unity. G-d's desire, and our mission, is to reveal the true unity that is hidden; isn't it interesting that on Rosh Hashanah, the starting point of the year, we, in a sense, unite the world?