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!