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Shana tovah u’metukah

Happy New Year- Jewish New Year that is! Rosh Hashanah is considered one of Judaism’s holiest days and will occur from September 6-8 this year. Keep reading to learn more about one of the most important days to Jews worldwide. 

Fast Facts

  • Rosh Hashanah literally translates to “head of the year”
  • The holiday spans two days and begins on the first day of Tishrei, which is the seventh month of the Hebrew Calendar
  • Rosh Hashanah 2021 began at sundown on September 6 and is celebrated through nightfall on September 8.
  • Since the Hebrew calendar differs from the Gregorian calendar used in the U.S. Rosh Hashanah’s date varies from year to year, but always almost falls in September or October
  • According to Hebrew tradition, the timing marks the creation of the world, hence the “new year” aspect of the holiday
  • The holiday also marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, which is ten days of introspection and repentance for the previous year’s sins
  • After the ten days, Yom Kippur is observed, which is the day Jews believe God decides people’s fate in the new year
  • Working is prohibited on the holiday, and many Jews spend the day at a synagogue instead
  • A huge part of holiday’s tradition is the sounding of the shofar, made from a hollowed-out ram’s horn which is a trumpet that gets played in four sets of notes
  • The shofar produces three “voices”: tekiah (a long blast), shevarim (a series of three short blasts), and teruah (a staccato burst of at least nine blasts)
  • The cry of the instrument serves as a reminder to repent and acknowledge that God is king
  • Rosh Hashanah coincides with Shabbat; the shofar is not blown on that day.
  • Following the synagogue service, a meal is traditionally had at home that gathers families together with foods representing positive hopes and wishes for the new year
  • Some of the traditional foods served are apples with honey and round challah bread
  • It’s traditional to eat a fruit you haven’t eaten for a long time on the second night of Rosh Hashanah. Many choose to eat a pomegranate. 
  • Jews greet each other on Rosh Hashanah with “L’shana tovah” which translates to “for a good year”

We at the Auburn Examiner wish all of our Jewish readers a happy and healthy Rosh Hashanah. May this new year bring blessings of health and good spirits to you and yours.

Curious about other holidays we celebrate? Learn more from our past coverage or contact us to let us know a future holiday you want to see covered.

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