Hebrew Lesson I- Rosh Hashanah-Head of the Year

tashlich

Our Jewish calendar revolves around the moon, different from our daily English calendar that revolves around the sun. Because of this our day begin at sunset when the moon comes up in the sky. Every Jewish month begins with the sliver of a new moon and all Jewish Holidays occur according to the waxing and waning of the moon.

Normally we call the beginning of each new moon and month Rosh Chodesh but the first day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei is called Rosh HaShanah meaning head of the year.

Customs observed on Rosh HaShanah include the sounding of the shofar to bring us to the importance of the moment; special blessings to welcome the year; eating a round challah, symbolizing the circle of life; eating sweet foods with honey hoping for a sweet New Year; and extend wishes for a good year: L’Shanah tovah.

Reform Jews celebrate one day of Rosh HaShanah, while Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist Jews observe two days. Reading the torah on Rosh Hashanah, we learn about Abraham and Sarah and the birth of their only son, Isaac.

One meaningful practice that I have always followed for Rosh HaShanah is Tashlich, a ceremony where we go to a body of running water to cast away all of of our bad traits by symbolically tossing bread into the water. This physical act inspires us to remember our actions, right our wrongs, and refocus ourselves for the New Year.

L’Shana Tov to all!!!



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