Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on Monday, September 6, and will run through nightfall on Wednesday, September 8. Monday marks the Hebrew Year 5782. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year, the first day of the month Tishri in September literally meaning the “head of the month.” It’s one of the high holy days celebrated by Jews around the world and culminates in Yom Kippur, the day of repentance.
On Rosh Hashanah, apples are dipped in honey to signify the sweetness of the new year
The shofar, or ram’s horn, is sounded. There are many beliefs and interpretations of the use of a ram’s horn. For some, it is a reference to the book of Genesis where Abraham sacrifices a ram instead of his son while some believe the ram’s horn is a wake-up call to the new year.
Families gather for special holiday meals that feature round challah, to echo the cyclical nature of life. Later bread is thrown into moving water to symbolize the sins of the past year being swept away.
Pomegranates, with their many seeds, signify a hope that the new year will be full of blessings
In the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Jews believe that they are judged for their actions and accordingly inscribed in the book of life. The days are often spent in prayer and repentance, punctuated with singing and traditional greetings of “l’shana tova,” to a good new year! Additionally, you can say “A good year, and may you be inscribed and sealed (for blessing in the Book of Life)”
This Roast Chicken with Thyme and Honey, from The Jewish Cookbook by Leah Koenig, is one of those go-to meals that works as well for holiday dinners as it does for family meals all Fall long.
A special thank you to Emily Hudson Richter for writing this article. I appreciate your willingness to share your religious customs with us.