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Rosh Hashanah Q&A

From Our Ask the Rabbi Outbox

How Did Brisket Become a Rosh Hashanah Tradition?
From Ezra to the present: On eating meat on Rosh Hashanah
Where does this tradition come from, and does it have any true significance?
Why Is Rosh Hashanah Before Yom Kippur?
Is it possible we've gotten these holidays all wrong?
Maybe we’ve got everything 100% wrong. Because if we’re thinking the holidays are backward, it’s likely we’ve got their meanings backward.
Why is Rosh Hashanah considered the Jewish New Year?
What actually occurred on the first Rosh Hashanah, more than 5700 years ago? What are we commemorating?
Why No Wild Party on Rosh Hashanah?
Why do we take our New Year’s Day so seriously? What’s this whole judgment deal? Why all the prayers? Can’t we just party?
I Don't Like Rosh Hashanah
All other Jewish holidays have something happy and beautiful about them. Rosh Hashanah only frightens me.
How Dare You Make Rosh Hashanah Sound Nice!
Yes, it is true that Rosh Hashanah is a very serious day. But is it meant to be frightening? Certainly, this kind of relationship with G-d, with Torah and with Rosh Hashanah is not what G-d ever meant . . .
Why Is Rosh Hashanah Challah Round?
Many have the custom to begin the Rosh Hashanah meals with round challahs, often filled with raisins and sweeter than usual. Here's why.
How to Choose a Shofar
Handy tips to keep in mind from a Judaica store owner
Is It Right to Be Upbeat on Rosh Hashanah?
Are Bees' Legs Kosher?
Last year I came to your services and found them to be happy, light, musical and joyous. I enjoyed the experience, but I’m wondering, is it fitting to be so upbeat on days when we are seeking forgiveness for our sins?
Why Are Shofars from Rams' Horns?
I understand that that the Torah tells us that there is a mitzvah to blow a horn on Rosh Hashanah, but why is it specifically a ram’s horn? Is that a mitzvah, or just tradition?
Why Do We Dip the Apple Into Honey on Rosh Hashanah?
Why not mangoes dipped in maple syrup, for example?
Why No Shofar on Shabbat?
Is it inconceivable that the Sages would deprive all of Israel of the benefits afforded by one of the greatest mitzvot we have—simply on account of a few ignorant souls who might otherwise err?
Why No Nuts on Rosh Hashanah?
And which nuts are included?
There are different reasons given for this custom, each impacting the parameters of what (and when) exactly we refrain from eating.
On what date was Joseph released from prison?
According to the Talmud, Pharaoh's dreams and the release of Joseph from prison occurred on Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the year. On that day, G‑d determines the fate of the world...
Purchasing a New Knife for Rosh Hashanah
I heard that there is a custom to buy a new kitchen knife every year for use on Rosh Hashanah. Did you ever hear of this, and, if so, what is the reason for this tradition?
Why do we blow the shofar so many times?
There are different customs as to how many times the shofar is blown on Rosh Hashanah. In most communities, the shofar is blown one hundred times . . .
Rosh Hashanah Is on the Wrong Day!
The past of your life starts now
On Rosh Hashanah, the real judge is you. Past, present and future are in your hands.
Why All the Symbolic Rosh Hashanah Foods?
Why are we rational Jews doing something that seems superstitious?
Why Don't I Feel Inspired Anymore?
I got into Jewish things and spirituality around a year ago, and I was feeling really motivated and inspired. But now I just don’t have the passion for it anymore. What happened?
Why Do We Eat a Fish Head on Rosh Hashanah?
There is a custom to eat the head of a fish on the night of Rosh Hashanah. What does this actually mean? I can’t make head or tail of it . . .
Take the Rosh Hashanah Quiz
See how well you know the basics of the first holiday of the Jewish year
Defrosting on Yom Tov for the Following Day
I’m wondering if it’s permitted to begin defrosting on the afternoon of the first day of Yom Tov something that we will eat that night?
When to Wear Tallit on High Holidays
Not sure what to wear when attending Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services? This article is for you.
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