Rosh Hashanah ("Head of the Year") marks the beginning of the Jewish year.
Rosh Hashanah also commemorates the creation of the world and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a 10-day period until Yom Kippur, that is called “The Ten Days of Repentance,” during which people have the opportunity to atone for their sins.
Religious people ask God for forgiveness for the things they’ve done wrong during the past year.
We also ask for forgiveness from anyone we may have wronged during the previous year In order to begin the year with a clean slate. Similarly, we should be quick to forgive those who have wronged us. Rosh Hashanah and the days surrounding it a time for reflecting on past mistakes and making amends with others, and planning the changes to make in the new year.
Chag Sameach, Happy holiday!
HOW DO WE CELEBRATE ROSH HASHANAH?
Jews from all over the world celebrate Rosh Hashanah in different ways. Holiday traditions can be different depending on where you’re from and how your family celebrates. Here are some of the Rosh Hashanah customs:
Apple and honey
At the evening meal on Rosh Hashanah, it is customary to eat an apple dipped in honey and other sweet foods to symbolize a sweet new year.
Greet others with ‘L’Shanah Tovah’
It is also customary to send “Shana Tova” greeting cards to our friends and relatives wishing them health, happiness, and prosperity for the new year.
As with most Jewish holidays, food is the focus of home celebrations of Rosh Hashanah and families and friends gather for a festive meal.
In Rosh Hashanah It is costumed to eat several foods that symbolize our wishings for the new year:
- Round Challah- The round challahs have no end, symbolizing our wish for a year in which life and blessings continue without end.
- head of a fish- in order to be ‘like the head and not the tail’ - so we’ll be leaders, not followers.
- Pomegranates- By eating the pomegranate, we express our wish for a year filled with as many merits as a pomegranate has seeds.
- A new fruit- a fruit that has recently come into season but we have not yet had the opportunity to enjoy this year or a fruit we have never tasted before. This tradition has become a way literally to taste the newness of the year, by enjoying an unfamiliar food
Blowing the shofar (ram’s horn)
The shofar blasts are intended to symbolize God’s sovereignty over the world.
On Rosh Hashanah afternoon it is customary to walk to a river, lakeshore or another open body of water, to shake out one’s pockets and symbolically
cast one’s sins into the water.
Prayers and Selichot
Religious people attend synagogue services and recite special prayers and liturgical songs written over the centuries.
Prior to Rosh Hashanah, there are special prayers, requesting forgiveness and expressing remorse and repentance.
ROSH HASHANAH RECIPES
Blessings for Rosh Hashanah symbolic foods
Tamar in Hebrew, related to the word “tam” (to end):
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹהינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הָעֵץיְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה' אֱלֹהינוּ וֵאלֵֹהי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶׁיִּתַּמּוּ אוֹיְבֵינוּ וְשׂוֹנְאֵינוּ וְכָל מְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתֵנוּ
Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu melech ha'olam borei pri haetz. Yehi ratzon milfanecha Adonai eloheinu v'elohei avoteinu she'yitamu oyveinu v'soneinu v'kol m'vaskshei ra'ateinu.
May it be Your will, God and the God of our ancestors, that there comes an end to our enemies, haters and those who wish evil upon us. Read more...