Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shana Tova!

Happy Rosh Hashana!

In 2011 Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated from sundown on September 28 to nightfall on September 30. The holiday marks the beginning of the year 5772 in the Jewish calendar.

The New Year is the only Jewish holiday that is observed for two days by all Jews. It is also the only major holiday that falls on a new moon. In the Jewish oral tradition, this holiday  marks the completion of the creation of the world.

Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the Jewish High Holy Days, or Yamim Noraim (the "Days of Awe"), and is followed 10 days later by Yom Kippur, the "day of atonement." The Mishnah refers to Rosh Hashanah as the "day of judgment," and it is believed that God opens the Book of Life on this day and begins to decide who shall live and who shall die. The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are viewed as an opportunity for Jews to repent (teshuvah, in Hebrew) and ensure a good fate. 

Jews traditionally gather in synagogues for extended services that follow the liturgy of a special prayerbook, called a mahzor, that is used during the Days of Awe. At specific times throughout the service, a shofar, or ram's horn, is blown.

Traditionally, sweet foods such as apples with honey, raisin challah, honey cake, and pomegranates are eaten. These foods symbolize the good, sweet things that the new year will bring.
Article source here