Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.
The Jewish New Year, is also called “Yom HaDin”, the Day of Judgment. Traditionally, this is the day that God decides who should be written into the Book of Life. We also begin the process of reflecting on a whole year of triumphs and mistakes during the Days of Awe (the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). When we pause to reflect on our lives and judge our actions, we can start to change our lives and the lives around us.
Rosh Hashanah for Hebrew Year 5782 begins at sundown on Monday, 6 September 2021 and ends at nightfall on Wednesday, 8 September 2021.
Rosh Hashanah is celebrated in many different ways by Jewish communities with songs, prayers, stories and special foods .
One of the common practices of Rosh Hashanah is attending the High Holy Day services, where the shofar can be heard.
A trumpet made from a ram or kosher animal’s horn is regularly sounded in synagogues. The holiday itself is celebrated with even more shofar blasts, usually a hundred during the services on both days. Many Jews interpret the sound as a call to repent of sins and seek forgiveness from God.
The Shofar blower stands at the bimah (platform at the front of the synagogue), and begins by reciting a collection of verses from the Psalms followed by two blessings: The first bless G‑d, “who sanctified us with His commandments and commanded to hear the voice of the shofar.” The second is the blessing of Shehecheyanu, thanking G‑d for granting us yet another year of life, allowing us to blow the shofar once again.
The shofar blowing contains a series of three types of blasts: tekiah, a long sob-like blast; shevarim, a series of three short wails; and teruah, at least nine piercing staccato bursts.
Many people go to a Tashlich service where they throw bread crumbs into a naturally running body of water as a means of casting away their sins.
Simanin and food on Rosh Hashanah
It is traditional to eat challah on Shabbat and other Jewish holidays. On Rosh Hashanah, however, the challah is specially baked in a round shape to represent the unending cycle of life and creation, a cycle in which there is no beginning or end.
Many families add raisins and honey to their challah for an extra sweet Rosh Hashanah.
Honey and Apple
It’s traditional to dip apples in honey because it is symbolic of the ultra-sweet year we hope G‑d will grant us.
Pomegranates have many seeds. These seeds symbolize the many merits we will create with our mitzvot in the coming year.
Fish Head on The Table
Rosh Hashanah literally means “head of the year.” Some families commemorate the “head of the year” with the tradition of placing a fish head on the table during Rosh Hashanah meals .
The tradition on it is And God will make you as the head, and not as the tail, and you will be only at the top, and you will not be at the bottom.
Carrots symbolize our hope that our merits will increase in the coming year .
Pri Chadash ( New Fruit)
On the second night of Rosh Hashanah it is customary to eat a “new fruit,” one that has not been eaten in the last year .
The shehecheyanu blessing is recited
Ba-ruch A-tah A-do-noi E-loi-hei-nu
Me-lech ha-o-lam she-he-chee-ya-nu v’ki-yi-ma-nu
vi-hi-gi-ya-nu liz-man ha-zeh.
Blessed are You, L-rd our G‑d, King of the
Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and
enabled us to reach this occasion.
The Hebrew word for beets, selek, is similar to the word for “remove.” They’re eaten to express the hope that our enemies will depart.
Black-Eyed Peas ( Rubia)
Black-Eyed Peas, Green Beans, or Fenugreek symbolize the hope for a fruitful year filled with merit.
Leeks, Chard or Spinach
The word for leek is related to the word kareyt, meaning to cut. This symbol is linked to the prayer that those who wish to hurt us will instead be cut off.
The Hebrew word for dates, t’marim, evokes the word tam, “to end,” and the hope that our enemies will be finished.
Gourds, or “K’ra.” The word “K’ra” sounds both like the word for “read/proclaim” and the word for “tear that the decree of our sentence should be torn asunder, and our merits be proclaimed to G-d.
How do you wish someone Happy Rosh Hashanah?
To wish someone a happy Rosh Hashanah “Shanah tovah” is an appropriate greeting. The phrase means “good year” in Hebrew and can be used through the season. Some other greetings including “Leshana tovah tikatev v’tichatem”.
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