Rosh Hashanah – the celebration of the Jewish New Year – started at sundown last night.
The holiday is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve and also marks the proclamation of God as the King of the Universe.
During the Days of Awe (the 10 day period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), the Jewish community reflects on their relationship with God and focuses on repentance.
Traditionally, the practices of Rosh Hashanah include dipping a piece of apple in honey and eating it to symbolize the desire for a sweet year and sounding the shofar (a ram’s horn) to represent the coronation of the king and a cry of repentance.
[Read “Rosh Hashanah Dessert: Scrumptious Apple Cake”]
The horn is also reminiscent of the ram that took Isaac’s place at the sacrifice. It reminds the community to have Abraham’s trust and readiness to serve. Over the course of Rosh Hashanah services, there are 100 shofar blasts.
Another observance is blessing each other. One common blessing is L’shanah tovah (“for a good year”). This is a shortening of “L’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem” (or to women, “L’shanah tovah tikatevi v’taihatemi”), which means “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”
This year, Rosh Hashanah started on Wedneday, September 4 and ends the evening of Friday, September 6. The following 10 Days of Awe will culminate with Yom Kippur on the evening of September 13 and end the evening of September 14.
Do you observe Rosh Hashanah? What does your family do during this time?