Today marks the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, which is the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar. Rosh Hashanah is one of the holiest days in Judaism and signifies the creation of the world and the start of the Days of Awe, a 10 day period of repentance and self-reflection in the Jewish religion.
Rosh Hashanah is observed for a single day by some, but for other denominations it is observed for two days.
A shofar is a trumpet made from a ram’s horn and the sounding off of it is an important and symbolic tradition. The sound of the shofar is a call to repentance and a reminder to Jews that God is their king. Tradition typically requires the one sounding off the shofar to play four sets of notes.
Apples and honey is another significant tradition on Rosh Hashanah. It involves eating apple slices with honey, sometimes after saying a prayer. The apples are thought to have healing properties, and the honey represents the hope that the new year will be sweet.
On Rosh Hashanah, Jews will often greet each other with the Hebrew phrase “L’shana tovah,” which translates to “for a good year.” This is a short version of the Rosh Hashanah salutation “L’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem,” which translates to “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”
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