Rosh Hashanah: Jewish New Year
Rosh Hashanah often referred to as Jewish New Year, is one of the most important of the Jewish Holy Days. Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the world’s creation and the time when God judges all things. A time for reflection and introspection, Rosh Hashanah marks the beginnings of the Days of Awe, or High Holy Days, that end with Yom Kippur.
Rosh Hashanah takes place on the first and second days of Tishri, the ninth month in the Jewish calendar.
appropriate gifts for rosh hashanah usually occurs sometime in September or October of the Gregorian calendar.
Is Rosh Hashanah Jewish New Year?
Rosh Hashanah translates as “head of the year,” or “first of the year,” and for this reason, it is often referred to as Jewish New Year. While Rosh Hashanah and New Year’s Day both mark the passing of a full year and new beginnings, the similarities end there. Rosh Hashanah is not marked by the wild revelry of New Year’s Day. It is a sacred occasion—the beginning of the introspection and repentance of the High Holy Days.
Also, while Rosh Hashanah, as the anniversary of Creation, is the most important Jewish New Year, is not the only Jewish New Year.
Elul, the month before Rosh Hashanah, is the New Year for tithing animals (a Biblical act of charity).
Passover falls in Nisan, the first month in the Jewish calendar, and is the New Year associated with kings.
Shevat is the New Year associated with trees.
Why Rosh Hashanah is So Important
According to Jewish tradition, appropriate gifts for rosh hashanah God judges all things on Rosh Hashanah and seals their fate when He closes the Book of Life at Yom Kippur. People have a chance to change the fate written in the Book of Life during the High Holy Days (between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). Through repentance and introspection, Jews can repent their sins from the previous year, and alter what is written about them in the Book of Life.
The Torah and Rosh Hashanah
The Torah refers to Rosh Hashanah by several names: Yom Teruah (the Sounding of the Shofar), Yom Hazikaron (the Day of Remembrance) and Ha’Din (the Day of Judgment).
The Sounding of the Shofar
The shofar (ram’s horn) is one of the most recognizable symbols of Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is the anniversary of the day when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. On seeing Abraham’s devotion, God sent him a ram to sacrifice in place of his son. The shofar is a lasting symbol of that day.
The shofar is blown in the synagogue during Rosh Hashanah in honor of God’s covenant with Abraham and is an essential part of the day’s religious ceremonies. A total of one hundred notes are blown on the shofar, which has a unique and resonating sound. The sounding of the shofar links the present to the past, when the shofar was blown to gather the people together and during wartime. The shofar also looks forward to the coming of the Jewish Messiah, when it will also sound.
Traditions and Rosh Hashanah
Jewish New Year traditions associated with Rosh Hashanah include eating apples or bread dipped into honey to symbolize a sweet New Year. Connected to the introspection and repentance of the High Holy Days, Tashlikh is typically observed on Rosh Hashanah. Tashlikh is the tradition of emptying one’s pockets into a stream or river of running water to cast away sins in preparation of the New Year ritually gifts for rosh hashanah dinner.
Jewish New Year Greetings
Shanah Tovah: “a good year.”
Le-shanah tovah tikatevu: “May you be inscribed for a good year.”
Le-shanah tovah tikkateivu ve-tehateimu: “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” (A greeting for the High Holy Days) gifts for rosh hashanah dinner.
appropriate gifts for rosh hashanah and the High Holy Days
The High Holy Days fall between Rosh Hashanah, when a person’s fate is written in the Book of Life, and Yom Kippur when the Book of Life is sealed for the coming year.
The High Holy Days are a time for introspection, repentance, and prayer. By earnestly repenting their sin during the High Holy Days, Jews have a chance to atone for any transgressions before the Book of Life is closed at Yom Kippur.