Autumn arrives in two local celebrations: Rosh Hashanah rings in Jewish New Year

By Sophia Schillinger

It is not Rosh Hashanah unless your family is 30 minutes late to the dinner and you have to wait 45 minutes for your parents to stop talking to other parents and actually bless the food and eat.

Rosh Hashanah is a two day holiday, celebrated by the Jewish community. This year it fell on Sunday evening, Oct. 2 and ended on Tuesday evening, Oct. 4.

Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the Hebrew calendar New Year, and the three main themes are proclaiming God as a King of the world, remembering God’s promises to us and the Shofar and what it stands for.

Blowing of the Shofar (a horn of a ram) is done many times throughout the holiday. It is blown before the dinner on the first night and before the service and after the service on the second day. It has many reasons and the main one is to “wake us up” or repent.

Rosh Hashanah is celebrated with a dinner on the first night, and apples dipped in honey are eaten before dinner to represent a sweet new year. While dipping the apples, a prayer is recited in Hebrew: “May it be Your will, O Lord our God and God of our fathers, that You renew for us a good and sweet year.”

When you recite the prayers on the first night before dinner, candles are lit. Three prayers are said with wine. One of them is called shehehe’ yanu, and it means Blessed are You O Lord Our God, King of the universe who has kept us in life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this moment.

“My family and I do most of the Rosh Hashanah traditions such as dipping apples and challah bread in honey, and lighting the candles,” junior Arlo Hettle said.

During the two days of Rosh Hashanah, it is a good time to renew and learn about yourself.

One way of doing this is participating in Tashlikh, which means to throw your sins away. “I have learned that it’s OK to not be perfect. The goal is to be always trying to improve yourself and do better for the world,” sophomore Maya Gabriel said.

There are two ways of performing Tashlikh. Some people take bread and throw it in a body of water, and some people write down their sins from the past year on a piece of paper and throw it in the water.

Some Jewish people attend religious services at the temple or synagogue. It is also a good time to grow and learn from mistakes, “I have been celebrating this Jewish holiday for as long as I can remember, and it’s always been a good time to look back and appreciate personal growth as well as the world around me,” junior Parker Strauss said.

Rosh Hashanah means a lot of things to different people. “Rosh Hashanah is the head of the year, the beginning of the new year, so it’s a chance to have a fresh start, improve myself and do better at certain things,” Gabriel said. It is also a nice time to get together with friends and family. “It is a very joyous holiday that I have been celebrating since before I can remember. It brings me close to religion and others who share it,” Strauss said.

The Shofar sings for a final time (tekiah gedolah) on the last night, and hope for another year to grow and love is delivered.

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