On the day before Rosh Hashanah (Erev Rosh Hashanah), morning prayer services (which do not include shofar) are longer, starting with early-morning Selichot and concluding with the annulment of vows.

Read: Erev Rosh Hashanah Morning Services

During this day, we prepare the festive and symbolic foods we will enjoy on Rosh Hashanah. These include kosher wine and sweet, round challah bread (often studded with raisins) and apples to be dipped in honey, fish (or ram) heads, pomegranates, and sweet foods made with honey, such as carrot tsimmes, teigelach, honey cake (lekach), and more.

Ask for Help

It is customary to visit the graves of tzaddikim (righteous, saintly people) and there to pray for a sweet new year. We ask the tzaddikim to intercede On High on our behalf, and we pray to G‑d to have mercy on us in the merit of these righteous people at whose resting places we are standing.

Today, many gather en masse on this day at the resting place of the Rebbe in the Queens borough of New York City (the "Ohel"). If you can't make it there on this auspicious day, you can email or fax a note with your blessing requests which will be placed by the Ohel. Click here for instructions how to do so.

Give Charity

Before the onset of the holiday, give charity freely, accruing merit for ourselves and for all of humanity, who will soon stand before G‑d in judgment.

Read: 15 Facts About Tzedakah

Visit a Mikvah

It is customary for men to visit a mikvah (ritual pool) on this day, to be purified before entering the High Holy Days. Speak to your rabbi to find out mikvah hours in your location.

A New Knife

Some have the tradition of purchasing a new knife before Rosh Hashanah. Click here for the fascinating reason behind this custom.


"If you only knew the power of verses of Psalms and their effect in the highest Heavens, you would recite them constantly. Know that the chapters of Psalms shatter all barriers, they ascend higher and still higher with no interference; they prostrate themselves in supplication before the Master of all worlds, and they effect and accomplish with kindness and compassion" — Rabbi Menachem Mendel, 3rd Chabad Rebbe.

On the day before Rosh Hashanah, every spare moment should be spent reciting Psalms. Thus, one already enters the new year with a clean slate. The continuous Psalms recitation should continue throughout the 48 hours of Rosh Hashanah.

Rosh Hashanah is ushered in with candle lighting, followed by synagogue services and a festive meal.