Rosh Hashanah


Rosh Hashanah is observed as a day of rest () for "a good year," or "shana tova umetukah" for "a good and sweet year." Because Jews are being judged by God for the coming year, a longer greeting translates as "may you be written and sealed for a good year" ("ketiva ve-chatima tovah"). During the afternoon of the first day the practice of "tashlikh" is observed, in which prayers are recited near natural flowing water, and one's sins are symbolically cast into the water. Many also have the custom to throw bread or pebbles into the water, to symbolize the "casting off" of sins.

Names and origins

The term "Rosh Hashana" does not appear in the Torah, but is used in the Hebrew Bible in calls the festival "Yom Terua", ("Day of blowing the horn") and defines the nature of animal sacrifices that were to be performed. [See [ Numbers 29:1] ] The Hebrew Bible defines Rosh Hashanah as a one-day observance, and since days in the Hebrew calendar begin at sundown, the beginning of Rosh Hashanah is at sundown at the end of 29 Elul. The rules of the Hebrew calendar are designed such that the first day of Rosh Hashanah will never occur on the first, fourth, or sixth days of the Jewish week [A popular mnemonic is "lo adu rosh" ("Rosh [Hashanah] is not on "adu"), where "adu" has the numerical value 1-4-6 (corresponding to the numbering of days in the Jewish week, in which Saturday night and Sunday daytime make up the first day).] (ie Sunday, Wednesday or Friday).

Since the time of the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE and the time of Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai, normative Jewish law appears to be that Rosh Hashanah is to be celebrated for two days, due to the difficulty of determining the date of the new moon. Nonetheless, there is some evidence that Rosh Hashanah was celebrated on a single day in Israel as late as the thirteenth century CE. [). This took place at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month (Tishri). On the same day the beginning of the year of jubilee was to be proclaimed by the blowing of trumpets (; : "Blow the "shofar" on the [first day of the] month, when the [moon] is covered for our holiday".

Rosh Hashanah has a number of additions to the regular service, most notably an extended repetition of the Amidah prayer for both Shacharit and Mussaf. The Shofar is blown during Mussaf at several intervals. Biblical verses are recited at each point. According to the Mishnah, 10 verses (each) are said regarding kingship, remembrance, and the shofar itself, each accompanied by the blowing of the shofar. A variety of "piyyutim", medieval penitential prayers, are recited regarding themes of repentance. The "Alenu" prayer is recited during the repetition of the Mussaf Amidah.

There are four different sounds that the Shofar makes, Tekiah (one long sound), Shevarim (3 broken sounds), Teruah (many short sounds) and Tekiah Gedolah (a very long sound) During the time when the Shofar is being blown we must listen carefully, not talk and do Teshuva (repentance). In many synagogues, even little children come and hear the Shofar being blown.

The traditional greeting on Rosh Hashanah is "shana tova", () and the reference of Ezra to the day as one "holy to the Lord" ().

The zodiac sign of the balance for Tishrei is claimed to indicate the scales of judgment, balancing the meritorious against the wicked acts of the person judged. The taking of an annual inventory of accounts on Rosh Hashanah is adduced by Rabbi Nahman ben Isaac from the passage in , "when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord," refer to the first and second days of Rosh Hashanah , observed by the Heavenly Court before the Almighty. (Zohar, Pinchas, p. 231a)

Traditional Rosh Hashanah greetings

*"Shana Tova" (pronounced|ʃaˈna toˈva) is the traditional greeting on Rosh Hashanah which in Hebrew means "A Good Year."
*"Shana Tova Umetukah" is Hebrew for "A Good and Sweet Year."
*"Ketiva ve-chatima tovah" is a longer greeting on Rosh Hashanah. The Hebrew translates as "May You Be Written and Sealed for a Good Year."

ee also

*High Holidays
*Jewish holidays
*Hebrew calendar
*Rosh Hashanah kibbutz (Breslov)
*Ras as-Sanah


External links

* [ overview of Rosh Hashanah]
* [ Formula to calculate the dates of Rosh Hashanah]
* [ Rosh Hashanah at Judaism 101]
* [ Complete Rosh Hashanah FAQ] (
* [ TorahLab audio and text classes about Rosh Hashanah]
* [ Rosh Hashana in a Nutshell from]
* [ Rosh Hashana Prayers For Sephardic Jews]
* [ Chart of symbolic foods and their corresponding prayers] - PDF file
* [ OURadio's audio on Simanin, symbolic foods for Rosh HaShanah]
* ['s Rosh HaShanah - The Custom of Eating Symbolic Foods]
* [ Rosh HaShanah Celebration] - Rosh HaShanah Prayer book for B'nei Noah in PDF format.
* [ Short Audio on Rosh HaShanah from] Free e-mailed classes on the 7 Noahide Laws / Sheva Mitzvot B'nei Noah available

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rosh Hashanah — Jewish new year, 1846, from Heb. rosh hashshanah, lit. head of the year, from rosh head of + hash shanah the year …   Etymology dictionary

  • Rosh Hashanah — • The first day of Tishri (October), the seventh month of the Hebrew year Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • ROSH HASHANAH — R 牢SH HASH N H Une des principales fêtes juives (R 拏sh Hash n h signifie, en hébreu, «début de l’année»), maintenant acceptée comme le commencement de la nouvelle année religieuse, et fixée au premier jour du mois de tishri (septembre ou octobre) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Rosh Hashanah — /rohsh hah shaw neuh, shah , heuh , rawsh /; Ashk. Heb. /rddohsh hah shaw neuh/; Seph. Heb. /rddawsh hah shah nah / a Jewish high holy day that marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year, celebrated on the first and second days of Tishri by… …   Universalium

  • Rosh Hashanah — Rosh Ha|sha|nah , Rosh Hashana an important Jewish religious holiday, which celebrates the beginning of the Jewish new year and continues for two days. It is usually in September …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Rosh Hashanah — Rosh Ha•sha•nah (or Ha•sha•na) [[t]ˈroʊʃ hɑˈʃɔ nə, ˈʃɑ , hə , ˈrɔʃ[/t]] hebr. [[t]ˈrɔʃ hɑ ʃɑˈnɑ[/t]] n. jud the Jewish New Year, celebrated on the first or first and second days of Tishri • Etymology: 1840–50; < Heb rōsh hashshānāh lit.,… …   From formal English to slang

  • Rosh hashanah — Roch Hachana  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Rosh HaAyin. Roch Hachana Une pomme, fruit traditionnellement trempé dans le miel pour symboliser la douceur es …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rosh Hashanah — noun (Judaism) a solemn Jewish feast day celebrated on the 1st or 1st and 2nd of Tishri; noted for the blowing of the shofar • Syn: ↑Rosh Hashana, ↑Rosh Hashonah, ↑Rosh Hashona, ↑Jewish New Year • Topics: ↑Judaism …   Useful english dictionary

  • Rosh Hashanah — noun Etymology: Late Hebrew rōsh hashshānāh, literally, beginning of the year Date: 1846 the Jewish New Year observed on the first day and by Orthodox and Conservative Jews also on the second day of Tishri …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Rosh Hashanah — Dieser Artikel beschreibt das jüdische Neujahrsfest Rosch ha Schana. Für die gleichnamige rabbinische Schrift siehe Rosch ha Schana (Mischnatraktat). Rosch ha Schana (auch Rosch ha Schanah, in aschkenasischer Aussprache Rausch ha Schono oder… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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