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.
- 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.