Shana Tova!

Categories: Diversity & Inclusion

This year, Sep. 25 to Sep. 27 marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year and the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, which means “head of the new year” in Hebrew. This year’s Rosh Hashanah is the start of year 5783 in the Hebrew calendar, and you can wish a good new year for those who celebrate this holiday by saying Shana Tova!

During the two days, family and friends will gather while each individual reflects on the actions of the past year, lessons they need to learn and a sense of reconciliation to start the new year correctly. It is a time for personal improvement and looking ahead.

Throughout the holiday, you may hear the tradition of the shofar (a ram horn) being blown, synagogues will be filled with prayer and meditation, and many will take part in one of the most well-known traditions, taschlich, where you symbolically cast off your sins by throwing pieces of bread into a body of water.

Food is also a significant part of the celebrations. Traditionally, apples and honey will be served together to bring in a sweet year full of blessings, pomegranates are considered a delicacy with the fruit's seeds representing the 613 mitzvot (commandments) of the Torah, and round loaves of Challah bread symbolize the cycle of life.

Rosh Hashanah also kicks off High Holy Days, also know as Ten Days of Penitence that end with Yom Kippur, the most sacred of Jewish religious holidays.