Tishrei 1-2, September/October
Rosh HaShanah marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and commemorates the anniversary of the creation of the world. It initiates the 10 Days of Repentance, which conclude on Yom Kippur.
Most Jews attend services in the synagogue or temple on the High Holy Days, beginning the process of atonement for the past year’s sins.
Our services include the blowing of the shofar, or ram’s horn, a primitive sound that is both meditative and disturbing. Blowing the shofar is the only biblical commandment for Rosh HaShanah:
“In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe complete rest, a sacred occasion commemorated with loud blasts” Leviticus (Vayikra) 23:24.
Traditionally on Rosh HaShanah we dip apples in honey in a wish for a sweet new year. It also is customary to make and eat round challah instead of the braided oval loaves we eat throughout the year.
Typical greetings at Rosh HaShanah include: “Shanah Tovah” (“A good year”) and “Le-shanah tovah tikatevu” (“May you be inscribed for a good year [in the book of life]”).
Press play to hear the pronunciation: