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Learn About Rosh Hashanah

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

What is Rosh Hashanah?

Rosh Hashana is the first holiday on the month of “Tishrei” (תשרי) and marks the beginning of a new Hebrew year ( שנה עברית חדשה - shanah ivrit hadasha) . In the Jewish tradition, Rosh Hashanah is not only the beginning of the year, but also the Rosh Hashana = the Head of the year , a place of thought, strength and life. At that time, according to tradition, the fate of the sons and daughters of man was determined.

Rosh Hashana is a holiday from the Torah, it is celebrated today as a Jewish holiday on the first and second of Tishrei.

The main mitzvas and symbols of the holiday are:

1. Blowing the shofar (לתקוע בשופר litkoa bashofar) : The sages explain that the blowing of the shofar ( שופר) on Rosh Hashanah is intended to awaken the memory ( זיכרון zicaron) of all people and bring them to reflect and regret their sins ( חטאים c’hatayim) .

2. The holiday meal ( ארוחת החג aruc’hat hac’hag) - On the eve of Rosh Hashana, Israel gathers for a family holiday meal. This practice is cross-sectoral in Israel and accepted by religious and secular alike. The family meals are varied and every community and / or family has traditional and accepted foods.

However, there are some common holiday foods, such as: An apple in honey: Dipping a slice of apple in honey, and bless the blessing of the "Creator of the fruit of the tree". The meaning is to wish for the next year to be good and sweet.

Challah (חלה) : At the holiday meal, it is also acceptable yo dip the slice of challah with honey, as a sign that the next year will be pleasant and sweet as honey.

Pomegranate ( רימון rimon) : It is customary to eat a pomegranate, whose grains are numerous. Eating the pomegranate at the New Year's Supper is an old tradition that symbolizes our promise to do good deeds in the New Year. The blessings "may our rights be numerous as a pomegranate" and "we will be full of mitzvas like a pomegranate" are usually recited at the Rosh Hashanah holiday meal.

Fish Head: It is customary to eat the head of a fish or sheep and say: "Let us be the head and not the tail" The fish also symbolise fertility and blessing, and therefore some add: "that we will multiply as fish".

We would like to wish you all, a happy holiday, may this new year bring you happiness, prosperity, self improvement , and of course, שנה טובה ומתוקה shana tova vemetuka! And if you want to bless your friend in Hebrew –

אני רוצה לאחל לכולכם, חג שמח, שהשנה החדשה תביא לכם אושר, שגשוג, שיפור עצמי וכמובן שנה טובה ומתוקה! (Translation: I want to wish you all, a happy holiday, may the new year will bring you joy, prosperity, self improvement and of course new good & sweet year!)

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