Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, otherwise known to many as the Jewish New Year, is observed each year on the first of Tishrei. It was originally known as Yom Teruah, or the day of trumpet blasting. Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and also begins the period of time known as the Ten Days of Awe, which lead up to Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. In Jewish tradition, it is believed that each year mankind passes before God and is inscribed in one of three books: the book of life, the book of the wicked, and an intermediate book. Thus, a traditional greeting for the holy day is l’shana tovah tikatevu which means “may you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” The Ten Days of Awe following Rosh Hashanah are a time of somber reflection and repentance for Israel, which includes fasting, praying, and introspection, during which time individuals practice teshuvah, or repentance, and attempt to improve their ways in preparation for Yom Kippur, when God will inscribe each individual’s fate for the next year.

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