The Jewish New Year
Rosh Hashanah is the Birthday of the World and a celebration of new beginnings. Jewish tradition encourages us to look inward, to be reflective with hope of renewal as we prepare for the New Year ahead. Also known as the “Day of the Sounding of the Shofar” we listen to the blasts of the ram’s horn, the Shofar, to wake us up from idleness, complacency and procrastination. Even though our sages teach that every day presents an opportunity for regret, repentance and forgiveness, the month prior to Rosh Hashanah and the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur focus intensely on our power as human beings to change, to repair relationships and to apologize for bad behavior.
The holiday at home is observed with festive meals and foods symbolizing our hopes for the New Year – such as apples dipped in honey for a sweet new year and pomegranates for a year of plenty.
We greet each other by saying Happy New Year, or the Hebrew version, Shanah Tovah. You can also say L’shanah tovah tikatevu, May you be inscribed for a good year (in the book of life).