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What Is Rosh Hashanah?

What Is Rosh Hashanah?

The anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, a day of judgment and coronation, the sounding of the shofar . . .


The festival of Rosh Hashanah—the name means Head of the Year—is observed for two days beginning on 1 Tishrei, the first day of the Jewish year. It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind’s role in G‑d’s world.

Rosh Hashanah thus emphasizes the special relationship between G‑d and humanity: our dependence upon G‑d as our creator and sustainer, and G‑d’s dependence upon us as the ones who make His presence known and felt in His world. Each year on Rosh Hashanah, “all inhabitants of the world pass before G‑d like a flock of sheep,” and it is decreed in the heavenly court “who shall live, and who shall die . . . who shall be impoverished, and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise.” But this is also the day we proclaim G‑d King of the Universe. The Kabbalists teach that the continued existence of the universe is dependent upon the renewal of the divine desire for a world when we accept G‑d’s kingship each year on Rosh Hashanah.

The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, which also represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their king. The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance, for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance thereof, and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Another significance of the shofar is to recall the Binding of Isaac which also occurred on Rosh Hashanah, in which a ram took Isaac’s place as an offering to G‑d; we evoke Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son, and plead that the merit of his deed should stand by us as we pray for a year of life, health and prosperity. Altogether, we listen to one hundred shofar blasts over the course of the Rosh Hashanah services.

Additional Rosh Hashanah observances include: a) Eating a piece of apple dipped in honey, to symbolize our desire for a sweet year, and other special foods symbolic of the new year’s blessings. b) Blessing one another with the words “Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim,” “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” c) Tashlich, a special prayer said near a body of water (an ocean, river, pond, etc.), in evocation of the verse, “And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea.” And as with every major Jewish holiday, after candlelighting and prayers we recite kiddush and make a blessing on the challah.

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Discussion (146)
September 16, 2014
For those of you who are wondering why most posters do not spell out the three letter name of our Lord, it is based on the traditional practice in Jewish law of giving G-d's name a high degree of respect and reverence. G-d's name is not written in a place where it may be discarded or erased. Treating His name with reverence is a way to show respect. So even though it's used in a posting or email, we retain the respect and reverence by using the spelling 'G-d.' I hope this helps you understand.
August 31, 2014
answer to Palestinian Moslem, Sept.'03
I also feel sorry for your people's suffering. Israel moved out of Gaza and gave it to your people. The world poured in hundreds of millions of dollars to help build a State for your people Had the money been used properly Gaza could have been a flourishing, productive State, with beautiful homes, schools and industry. Israel would have worked side by side with you to raise the standard of living of your people. Children could have been educated in professions other than killing.
But the money was used for building terrorist tunnels and buying weapons with which to destroy Israel. From the very first days we were bombed. Your people had no benefit from all the world's money, as it never reached them.

If you want to pray for something, pray that your leaders will use the money for building and not destroying. You wrote that all people desire the same things in life. But Palestinian charter calls for the complete destruction of Israel and Jews.

Can you deny any of this?
August 30, 2014
It is a day of accountability. A day to account whether business was done honestly and if one has received defeat and losses , one should look at how business was conducted. Business practices which bring losses for people and nation will be accounted at Rosh hashanah.
August 28, 2014
very good teaching
David Salgadu
April 30, 2014
thank you
very helpful for my homework
February 27, 2014
If Nissan is the first month why is New Year in Tishrei? Or am I just thinking American where New Years is the first day of the first month?
Oregon, USA
November 30, 2013
thank you
Thank you for the info. I had to do a paper and this was extremely helpful information. great page
October 9, 2013
So Thankful!!!
Every year on Rosh Hashanah God likes to give us gifts. My Mom didn't tell us about our being Jewish until she was passing from the Earth. I don't know why she did that to this day. But ever since finding out, every year I am blessed with something I know I did not have before. Most of the time it is peace, or gifts I didn't know I had, or people I thought were gone from my life are restored. I look forward to Rosh Hashanah every year, not for the blessings, but for the one who gives them. Bless you, Lord and love of my life. I am so grateful for all that is to come.
Harold Q
Las Vegas, NV
October 8, 2013
This year, Rosh Hashanah was on my birthday
Pierson Michalak
Chicago, Illinois
September 6, 2013
Rosh Hashanah
To all :
Happy "Rosh Hashanah"

“Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim"
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