When lighting candles and making kiddush on the eve of the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah, a "new fruit" (i.e., one that has not yet been eaten this season) is placed on the table; the fruit is then eaten after kiddush. This is to enable us to make the Shehecheyanu blessing praising G-d for "granting us life, sustaining us, and bringing us to this season" (because the two days of Rosh Hashanah are regarded as "one long day", the Shehecheyanu blessing, recited on the festivals by the women when lighting the candles and by the men in kiddush, requires an additional source of rejoicing).
As we did yesterday on the 1st day of Rosh Hashanah, we again sound the shofar (ram's horn) one hundred times, in various combinations of tekiah (a long blast), shevarim
(a trio of broken sobs) and teruah (a staccato of short notes),
in fulfillment of the primary mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah. The shofar serves
to trumpet our coronation of G-d as King
of the Universe, as a call to repentance,
and to evoke the memory of the Binding ofIsaac.
Because we already made the "Shehecheyanu" blessing on yesterday's shofar blowing, the one sounding the shofar should wear a new garment (see Shehacheyanu above)
The 10-day period beginning on Rosh Hashahnah and ending on Yom Kippur is known as the "Ten Days of Repentance"; this is the period, say the sages, of which the prophet speaks when he proclaims (Isaiah 55:6) "Seek G-d when He is to be found; call on Him when He is near." Psalm 130, Avinu Malkeinu and other special inserts and additions are included in our daily prayers during these days.
The Baal Shem Tov
instituted the custom of reciting three additional chapters of
Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on
Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire
book of Psalms). Click below for today's three Psalms.