The Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah signifies the Jewish near year. It falls every year during the month of Tishrei and ten days before Yom Kuppur.
When is Rosh Hashanah in 2012?
September 16 at sundown to September 18.
What is Rosh Hashanah?
Rosh Hashanah literally means "Head of the Year." The month of Tishrei which it falls under, is the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar. This is because the Hebrew calendar begins during the month of Nissan which is believed when the Jews were freed from slavery in Egypt. The month of Tishrei is believed to be the month that God created the world.
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur together are known as the Yamim Nora'im which means the Days of Awe.
Rosh Hashanah is also supposed to be a time of repentance where Jews examine their lives and repent any wrongdoings from the past year. This process is called teshuvah.
The theme of Rosh Hashanah is life and death and it is a time for celebration and hope for the new year.
Rosh Hashanah Customs
On Rosh Hashanah the customary phrase to greet people with is "L'Shanah Tovah," which means "May you have a Good Year" in Hebrew.
The shofar is a symbol of the holiday and an instrument that is usually made of a ram's horn. It is blown one hundred times during each of the two days that encompass Rosh Hashana. The sound is supposed to remind people of the importance of the holiday and the importance of reflection.
This is a ceremony that occurs during the first day of Rosh Hashanah. The term literally means "casting off" in Hebrew and symbolically involves casting off sins of the previous year. This is done by throwing bread or other food into flowing water.
Challah, apples and honey:
Apple slices dipped in honey are representative of hope for a sweet new year and challah is shaped into round loaves of bread on Rosh Hashanah which represents the continuation of life.
Pomegranates are sometimes eaten on the second night of Rosh Hashanah as it is customary to eat fruit that is new to the season. Pomegranates are popular in Israel and according to Hebrew legend they contain 613 seeds, one for each of the 613 mitzvot, or commandments instituted in the torah.