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.