Jewish Holidays – Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year, anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, a day of judgment and coronation, and sounding of the shofar.
Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the universe, the day God created Adam and Eve and it’s celebrated as the head of the Jewish year. The first two days of the Jewish new year is celebrated this year on the , Tishrei 1 and 2, beginning at sundown on the eve of Tishrei 1. Rosh Hashanah 2018 begins at sundown on September 9 and continues through nightfall on September 1.
Rosh Hashanah holiday is celebrated starting with the tradition candle lighting in the evenings and continues with a festive dinner that include special dishes that each one of them represents a deeper meanings and wishes to the new year to come upon us.
The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the Shofar, the ram’s horn, on both days of the holiday. The first 30 blasts of the shofar are blown following the Torah reading during morning services, and as many as 70 additional are blown during (and immediately after) the Musafservice, adding up to 100 blasts over the course of the Rosh Hashanah morning services.
The blowing of the shofar represents the trumpet blast that is sounded at a king’s coronation. Its plaintive cry also serves as a call to repentance. The shofar itself recalls the Binding of Isaac, an event that occurred on Rosh Hashanah in which a ram took Isaac’s place as an offering to God. (For Buying Shofars)
Rosh Hashanah Meals
- It is traditional to begin the meal on the first night with slices of apple dipped in honey. Before eating the apple, we make the ha’eitz blessing and then say, “May it be Your will to renew for us a good and sweet year.”
- Many people eat parts of the head of a fish or a ram, expressing the wish that “we be a head and not a tail.”
- In many communities, there are additional traditional foods eaten, each symbolizing a wish for the coming year. Many eat pomegranates, giving voice to a wish that “our merits be many like the [seeds of the] pomegranate.” Another common food is tzimmes, a sweet carrot-based dish eaten because of its Yiddish name, merren, which means both “carrot” and “increase,” symbolizing a wish for a year of abundance.
The season of the High Holidays is a time for an epic journey for the soul, and Rosh Hashanah is where it all begins.
Shana Tova !