Happy Rosh Hashanah!
This is the joyous celebration of the Jewish New Year.
The name Rosh Hashanah is Hebrew for
'head of the year.’ It begins in the month of Nissan, which is recorded in history as the time of year when the Israelites, who had been made slaves by the Pharaoh, were set free.
This is also known as Passover.
There is also a lovely tradition of greeting one’s friends and family, saying, “L'Shana Tovah,” which is Hebrew for 'may you have a good year.'
The New Year has the longest prayer service of all the Jewish holidays aside from Yom Kippur. The New Year consists of two half days from around 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. of prayers in the synagogue. Kol Nidre lasts around three hours in the evening and Yom Kippur lasts a full day until sunset. The prayer book used on the New Year is the Makhzor, featuring Unetaneh Tohkef, which reflects on life and death. Avienu Malkeiun is another famous prayer Jews greatly appreciate which means 'Our Father Our King', in Hebrew.
During Yom Kippur, the people reflect on their sins and ask for
forgiveness, as represented by the 24 hour fasting process. This takes
place a week after the New Year.
Tashlich takes place in the synagogue on the first day of the New Year. In Hebrew, tashlich means 'casting off' and represents casting aside the prior year’s sins. Bread, or other foods are tossed into flowing water. To break the fast, apple slices dipped in honey and honey cake are eaten—representing a sweet new year for all. At the very end of Yom Kippur, the shofar is blown once to end the fast and start the full New Year. The shofar is made from a ram's horn, which gives it a beautiful and hauntingly distinctive sound.
The history surrounding this holiday is both fascinating and moving.
Happy Rosh Hashanah and thank you for joining us for Postcard Friendship Friday!
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