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Rosh Hashanah marks a very important time in the Jewish Faith. It's the celebration of the Jewish New Year! The Torah commonly refers to it as either Yom Hazikaron or, Yom Haidin. If able, the majority of the community spends most of Rosh Hashana in the Synagogue in prayer.
What is Rosh Hashanah?
Rosh Hashanah is one of 3 Holidays that together form Yamim Nora’im (High Holidays). It begins the 10 days of Penitence which, leads into the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur. Customs often vary depending on your location.
What does it mean?
The name Rosh Hashanah stands for “head of the year”.
When is Rosh Hashanah?
In September or October of every year, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated. Or whenever the Jewish month of Tishrei falls according to the Gregorian Calendar.
How is Rosh Hashanah celebrated?
Each community celebrates Rosh Hashanah slightly differently but, they generally have the same itinerary. The differences typically come with the foods that are enjoyed during the celebration of Rosh Hashanah (which we will cover in a bit).
Rosh Hashanah starts at sundown the night before Tishrei 1. The following morning, unless it is Shabbat, starts off with the Shofar being sounded with a specific series of blasts. Most of the day is spent in prayer in the synagogue and saying blessings.
In the afternoon of the first day, it is customary to go to the closest body of water Celebrating Rosh Hashanah and ceremoniously cast all your sins into the water. This ceremony is called the Tashlich.
In the evening, women and girls light candles and say a specific blessing.
Important Greetings used
During the whole celebration of Rosh Hashanah, special greetings are used depending on who you are talking to. There are specific greetings for both men and woman.
What is a Shofar?
The Shofar is a rams horn that is sounded on the first and second mornings of Rosh Hashanah.
If you someone cannot make it to the synagogue they can request that the Shofar be brought to them so that they can still hear the blasts and be apart of the celebration.
The Shofar is sounded during the morning services of Rosh Hashanah. Between morning one and morning two of Rosh Hashanah people can easily listen to a minimum of 100 Shofar blasts.
The blasts vary in tones. They start with a long sob like sounding blast called a tekiah, that is followed by a set of three short wails called the Shevarim, and lastly, they sound off a set of a minimum of nine piercing staccato sounding calls referred to as teruah.
Blessings and Prayers
All of the blessings and prayers for Rosh Hashanah (and all the other Jewish Holidays) are found in the Machzor. Each piece of the celebration has its own specific blessing or prayer to be said as they each represent special wishes for the coming year.
Lighting the Candles
Each night of Rosh Hashanah women and girls light candles and recite a specific blessing called the Shehechiyanu. On the second night of Rosh Hashanah, it is important that an existing flame is used to light the candles for the night. This time while lighting them and saying their blessing, they think of a new fruit they are going to eat.
Food Consumed during Rosh Hashanah
What is a celebration without food? Meals and snacks are a very important part of Rosh Hashanah.
Meals and snacks are consumed day and night during Rosh Hashanah. Each item that is consumed represents a wish that they have for the coming year.
The First Night
It is traditional to start the first meal of Rosh Hashanah with the kiddush blessing said over wine followed by apples dipped in honey. Dipping the apples in honey represents the wish for a sweet upcoming year. Before the apples are consumed the Ha'aretz blessing is said. Pomegranates are usually eaten as well to wish for numerous good deeds in the new year.
The Second Night
On the second night of Rosh Hashanah the kiddush blessing is said again but, this time it is said over bread. Also on the second night, new fruits are consumed. Think fresh seasonal fruits. And depending on where you are celebrating almond and dried fruits might be incorporated into sweet entrees.
A quick and easy way to get all your Rosh Hashanah snacks is to order from Manhattan Fruitier. They specialize in high-quality fresh fruit and fine food gift baskets for all kinds of occasions like Rosh Hashanah. They even consider special diets, including gluten-free and vegan, and as well having many organic products.
These are not your run of the mill gift baskets, every detail is thoughtfully placed and considered. From the textures, colors, and sizes of the items to the decorative add ons like leaves and flowers. My Kosher Tompkins with Chocolate Babka Gift Basket was absolutely gorgeous. They truly have an eye for detail!
Everything in my Kosher Tompkins with Chocolate Babka Gift Basket was fresh and tasty. This is not surprising considering they taste test their fruits and visually inspect before placing them in a gift basket.
I love that my gift basket was made up of reusable items, a lovely basket and a wooden box that I am totally keeping well after I've stuffed myself with all these goodies.
Speaking of goodies. My Kosher Tompkins with Chocolate Babka Gift Basket had SO many delicious goodies that are perfect for Rosh Hashanah. I got several dried fruits including apple rings, organic apricots, dates, and mangos as well as 10 fresh fruits.
As that wasn't enough, I've been enjoying their almonds and chocolate babka too. If you don't know what chocolate babka is, you need to try it! It's a perfect dessert or breakfast – chocolatey, buttery layers that just pull apart and melt in your mouth. Heaven!
Whatever the occasion you are sure to find something PERFECT at Manhattan Fruitier. They offer a vast variety of goodies from traditional fruits, cheeses, and chocolates to more unique things like smoked fish and caviar – AND more!
Thanks for sharing the food and traditions. It’s always good to learn new things.
I did not know much about this holiday! I love the first meal part 🙂
This is really interesting. And that is a super nice gift box!
I learned a new thing to day. Thanks for educating me about Rosh Hashanah. It is always nice to learn something about other cultures and their traditions.
I’m glad you found the information interesting. I have always found it wonderful to learn beyond my own culture.
Great to know about new traditions and the food to eat during then. I didn’t know so much.
I’m glad you found it useful! Thanks for stopping by!
I love learning about other cultures and religions. And this fine fruit basket looks divine!
Thank you! I love learning about it too and it’s nice to hear others do too!
Thank you for educating me about Rosh Hashanah. For years we would visit our Jewish relatives for the holiday when I was younger, but no one ever took the time to tell us about it!
That’s a shame! I love sharing new cultural things that others might not know about. I find it fun and rewarding to not only learn but share my own!
Thanks for sharing the food and traditions and the background on the holidays. The giveaway is pretty great too. The pictures are great.
I’m glad you enjoyed all of it! I enjoyed sharing!
Wow. It’s nice to learn more about the different traditions and celebrations that other religions observe. I think it’s wonderful.
I couldn’t agree more! I love learning about other traditions outside of my own as well. I just feel it enriches our understanding of one another.
Joanna Everyday Made Fresh
Very interesting. I went to school with a boy that was Jewish. I always was fascinated with the different stories he would tell surrounding his religion, and the holidays.
I always loved growing up with those who had different cultures from my own. It makes you truly appreciate everyone, no matter if they’re different or not.