Five Things to Know about Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, marks the anniversary of the creation of the world, according to Jewish tradition.
- Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of the Hebrew month of Tishri. "Rosh Hashanah" literally means "head of year" and is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. However, Rosh Hashanah has a deeper, more spiritual meaning than a secular New Year’s celebration. No work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah with special liturgy in the synagogue.
- During Rosh Hashanah, many make resolutions to plan for a better life. It’s a time to reflect upon their actions over the past year (A Day of Remembrance) and to ask for forgiveness for their transgressions.
- Rosh Hashanah is also known as the “Day of Judgment.” On Rosh Hashanah, tradition teaches that God inscribes the fate of every person for the next year in the Book of Life or the Book of Death.
- The mitzvah (commandment) of Rosh Hashanah is to hear the shofar. The shofar is made from a hollowed out ram's horn that is then blown like a trumpet on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The shofar is not blown if the holiday falls on Shabbat.
- The most common food custom on Rosh Hashanah is the dipping of apples and challah bread into honey, which signifies our wishes for a sweet new year.
Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown today.