What is Rosh Hashanah?
The literal Hebrew meaning of “Rosh Hashanah” is “head of the year” or “first of the year.” In other words, Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is a time for self-reflection, a time to accept your mistakes of the past and create resolutions for the future. In the Torah, Rosh Hashanah is referred to as Yom Ha-Zikkaron which means “the day of remembrance” or Yom Teruah which means “the day of the sounding of the Shofar.”
Rosh Hashanah begins on the first day of the hebrew month of Tishrei (usually in September or October). On this holiday, you will hear people greet each other by saying “L’shanah tovah” which means “for a good year.” Because most of this day is spent in the synagogue, working is not allowed on Rosh Hashanah. There are many other ways by which we capture the essence of this holiday through our continuing traditions.
One of the most important ways to celebrate Rosh Hashanah is through going to the synagogue to listen to the blowing of the shofar, or a hollowed-out ram’s horn. The sounding of the shofar is meant to wake the listeners from their slumbers and prepare them for the coming judgements that they will be making. The shofar is blown each morning for the entire month of Elul, the month before Tishrei. On Rosh Hashanah, the shofar is blasted 100 times in total.
Apples and Honey
Eating apples dipped in honey is another of the most popular observances of this holiday. The sweet honey symbolizes our wish for a sweet new year. Sometimes we also dip bread in honey for the same reason.
Tashlikh (“casting off”)
Since it is the beginning of the new year, we strive to rid ourselves of our sins from the past year. To do so, on the first afternoon of the holiday, we walk to any place with flowing water and empty our pockets into the river to “cast off” our sins. Usually, small pieces of bread are carried in one’s pocket to be thrown into the flowing water.
Giving gifts is a great, simple way to ensure that the Jewish New Year is sweet for you and all those you love. Rosh Hashanah, the “day of remembrance,” is the perfect time to show your friends and family that you’re looking forward to another wonderful year with them in your life.
What better way to express your hope for a sweet New Year than with a sweet present? Please shop our Rosh Hashana department for the finest and largest selection of Rosh Hashana gifts anywhere. If you need help making a selection, please email or call us at 866-242-5524.