A Shofar is a special horn that is blown on Rosh Hashanah. It is blown as an alarm, a wake up call. It reminds us it is time to ask forgiveness for anything we have done wrong, and to try to be better people in the coming year.
It is customary to eat pomegranate seeds on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize our desire to do as many good deeds in the coming year as there are seeds in a pomegranate.
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apples & honey
We traditionally say the “Hamotzei” blessing over round challah on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize the cycle and completion of a year. It is tradition to dip the challah in honey before eating it so we will have a sweet new year. Yum!
Rosh Hashanah is the 1st and 2nd day of Tishrei on the Hebrew calendar. It usually falls around September and October on our calendars.
The Hebrew words Rosh Hashanah translate to “Head of the Year”. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is a time of celebration, but more importantly a time of self-reflection, repentance and forgiveness, and prayer. It is customary on Rosh Hashanah to ask forgiveness from anyone we may have wronged in the past year. Going into the new year, we want every opportunity to allow ourselves to be better than the year before.
Rosh Hashanah is preceded by the month of Elul, traditionally a month for prayer and thought. Elul is a somber month in which we examine our past deeds and prepare to ask for forgiveness on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
There are many customs and rituals we can participate in to have a meaningful Rosh Hashanah. One of the most important things we do on Rosh Hashanah is we hear the Shofar being blown. Hearing the shofar is meant to be a wake-up call for us, a call to action. The Shofar reminds us it is a new year, a time to ask forgiveness, and a call to be a better person.
We also celebrate Rosh Hashanah by participating in Tashlich. Tashlich is a ceremony where we throw bread crumbs or small pebbles in a lake or a stream (it must be naturally flowing water) as a way of symbolically casting away our sins from the previous year.
We also celebrate Rosh Hashanah with a festive meal. We eat lots of symbolic foods to represent our desires for the coming year.
Rosh Hashanah is an
important holiday, so we mark
the beginning of the holiday by
lighting the candles and saying a
special blessing over them.
This year, Rosh Hashanah and Shabbat are on the same day, so the Shabbat portion of the blessing is recited as well.
On the first night of lighting candles, we also say the “Shehechiyanu”, the blessing to celebrate a new experience. Since its been a whole year since we last celebrated