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Rosh Hashanah

NewyearWhat is Rosh Hashanah?

Translating into “Head of the Year” in Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and commemorates the creation of the world.  Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Repentance, or the Days of Awe, a 10-day period of reflection, prayer and remembrance leading up to Yom Kippur. The Days of Awe are a time to examine and repent your sins and to make amends with anyone you have wronged or harmed during the year.

When is Rosh Hashannah?

Rosh Hashannah is celebrated on the first day of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. Celebrated on a different day each year, Rosh Hashanah falls on September 29 in 2011.

What are Rosh Hashanah customs?

Tashlich is a Rosh Hashanah custom in which Jews say prayers near naturally flowing water before throwing pieces of bread into the water. This symbolizes cleansing the spirit of sins for the New Year. The shofar, or ram’s horn, is also blown on Rosh Hashanah to symbolically awaken and remind people to examine and repent their sins before the day of judgment. Jews also enjoy a special meal consisting of symbolic foods, such as challah bread, honey and pomegranates.  Learn more about what Rosh Hashanah foods symbolize here.

Sources: timeanddate.com, history.com, judaism.about.com

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