Monday, July 29th

5 Things to Know About Rosh Hashana

Rosh Hashana marks the Jewish New Year and is celebrated around the world. The date is based on the Hebrew lunar calendar and changes every year. In 2013, Rosh Hashana begins at sundown on September 4 and ends at sundown on September 6.

  1. What’s the Religion Behind The Holiday? In the Jewish faith, on Rosh Hashana, God opens and writes in three books: one records the righteous; the second, the wicked; and the third, the names of those who hang in the balance. During the Days of Awe (the period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur), people atone for their sins. It’s customary to attend services during this time.
  2. What Do People Say to Each Other? The traditional greeting, “l’shana tova tikatevu ve’tikhatemu” means “may your name be written and sealed for another year” and refers to #1. May be abbreviated to l’shana tova.
  3. What Do People Eat? Traditional foods during Rosh Hashana are honey and apples, symbolizing a “sweet” New Year. In addition, some families hold a Rosh Hashana seder - a ritual meal.
  4. What’s With the Horn? The shofar – a ram’s horn – is blown to awaken the faithful and as a remembrance of Abraham, whom God commanded to sacrifice his son, Isaac (Genesis 22:1-13).
  5. What Else Happens? The Days of Repentance begin on Rosh Hashana. People are encouraged to meditate on their actions over the past year and if possible, make amends to anyone they may have wronged in some way.

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