La Shanah Tovah!
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, (רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה, literally “head of the year“) is the first of the High Holy Days or Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe), a two-day celebration that starts on the new moon and is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, and their first actions toward the realization of humanity’s role in the world. It weds seriousness with celebration and begins the 10 days of repentance that culminate in Yom Kippur. The new year focuses our attention on themes of judgment, repentance, memory and the divine presence in the world. At the same time, Rosh Hashanah invites us to celebrate birth and creation on many levels. The liturgy suggests that Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world. Family-oriented services often include a birthday cake for the world. Customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram’s horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to emphasize the sweetness of starting the cycle of seasons once again, and round challah to remind us of the cycles of life.