Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone

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 . . .

E-mail

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.

© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
E-mail
1000 characters remaining
Email me when new comments are posted.
Sort By:
Discussion (142)
April 30, 2014
thank you
very helpful for my homework
Elliott
Singapore
February 27, 2014
Confused
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?
Anonymous
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
Anonymous
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
theshul.net
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"
Bimbabampisha
September 6, 2013
A Palestinian Moslem
As a Palestinian , I extend a warm and loving peaceful year to my fellow Jewish friends and I hope that , the hearts of all people , and all mankind will soften and realize that we are all one mankind.
As I feel the pain and suffering of my Palestinian people, I pray , to G-D , the king of all kings and the creator of all creations , to shower all his creation with peace and love, and to send a message to all minds and hearts to be able to open up and understand that we are all people, and we desire all the same things in life. May this year be the year of change and happiness to all hearts, broken and otherwise. Shalom/Salam
Taher Albeitawi
DC/FL
September 6, 2013
Shana Tov everyone!!!! May the Lord grant you special gifts this new year and much favor with man. Blessing, O Israel.You are dearly loved.
Harold Q
Las Vegas, NV
theshul.net
September 5, 2013
Thanks
Thanks for all the comments. The information have been very helpful to me.
Anonymous
Brooklyn, MS
September 4, 2013
Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim,
Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim
Angel De Jesus
Midland
Show all comments
Load next 50