Two-day religious observance that marks the start of the Jewish New Year (first new moon after the autumn equinox, beginning the month of Tishri). It is traditionally announced by blowing a shofar, a ram's-horn trumpet. It is the first of the high holy days, or ‘days of awe’, and celebrates the creation of the world, the repentance of sins, and the renewal of God's relationship with the Jewish people.
The New Year is regarded as a time to take stock, and face God with an honest heart. Jews will send each other New Year cards, and greet each other with ‘May you be inscribed for a good life!’ Apples dipped in honey and honey cake are eaten to bring sweetness to the coming year. In the afternoon, people will perform tashlikh (‘casting away’), emptying their pockets of any crumbs into flowing water, often a river, symbolizing the shedding of the last vestiges of the previous year, including their sins. The ritual of tashlikh is accompanied by a service with prayers asking God to help take away their sins.
Rosh Hashanah marks the first two days of the Ten Days of Returning (to God), when Jews take stock of their actions in the past year. If they have wronged anyone, they should ask for forgiveness and try to put things right. The third day is the Fast of Gedaliah, and the tenth is the high holy day of Yom Kippur (or the Day of Atonement).
Related Credo Articles
Rosh Hashanah is often referred to as the Jewish New Year though it is observed on the first day of the month of Tishri, which is the seventh...
The Jewish year begins on the first of Tishri , and the first and second of Tishri are celebrated as the New Year festival. This is the...
The Jewish New Year, a one-day festival in ancient times, now observed for two days (in Israel as well as in the Diaspora) on the 1st and 2nd of...