Rosh Hashanah, otherwise referred to as the “Head of the Year” is the Jewish New Year celebrated for two days starting on September 9th. These days coincide with the birthday of the universe, and correlates with the day G-d created Adam and Eve. It is one of the most celebratory days in Jewish culture, but it is also one of the holiest days of the year. For those of you familiar with Rosh Hashanah, none of this will be news to you, but for those who may be interested in the holiday, or for those who’ve recently converted to Judaism, here is a quick guide to celebrating Rosh Hashanah.
There are several activities and events required during this two-day celebration each year. First, the sounding of the shofar must commence. The horn is blown following the readings of the Torah, and it is blown again during and after the Musaf service. It is important that you attend the blowing of the shofar as to symbolize the beginning of celebrating Rosh Hashanah.
Candles are lit each night when prayers are spoken. As with many holidays throughout the year, a large emphasis of celebrating Rosh Hashanah is placed on food and festive meals, which are eaten over both days and both nights. These festive meals include wine or grape juice, challah raisin bread dipped in honey, apples and other fruit dipped in honey, and a head of a fish and pomegranates which symbolize your wishes for the next year.
The majority of these two days are spent at a synagogue in prayer, usually with a Tashlich prayer. Prayer is a huge part of celebrating Rosh Hashanah. These days are very holy and spiritual in nature and what they represent is very connected to G-d.
Rosh Hashanah brings us holy and celebratory days. These days are best spent celebrating the year you just had and the wonderful things that have happened, as well as looking forward to the year that’s to come. The prayers on these days generally consist of prayers for peace, prosperity, and blessing over the course of the coming year. Celebrating Rosh Hashanah means cherishing the people who’ve been in your life the past year, as you look toward the future and the wonderful year you’ll have with them coming up. This day is about giving love and receiving love from G-d as you toast a glass of wine to a healthy, happy future. L’chaim!