Rosh Hashanah is a day to celebrate the Jewish New Year it is observed in the first two days of Tishri; Tishri is the seventh month of the Jewish year, the month where Jews believe God created the world. Rosh Hashanah translates into “head of year” or “first of the year”. The holiday has four major an interconnected themes, The Jewish New Year, The Day of Judgment, The Day of Remembrance and the Day of Shofar Blowing.
During the first and second day of Rosh Hashanah no work is permitted, because most of the day in spent is synagogue or assembly, the prayer service for Rosh Hashanah is on of the longest of the year that usually runs from early morning until the afternoon and is so unique that it has its own prayer book called the Makhzor. There a to most common prayers used for Rosh Hashanah. The first prayer is called Unetaneh Tohkef, this prayer is about life and death. The Second is called Avienu Malkeinu, meaning “Our Father Our King” in Hebrew.
In this prayer the entire congregation will sing the last verse of in unison, which says “Our Father, our King, answer us as though we have no deed to plead our cause, save us with mercy loving kindness. ” The Jewish New Year does not fall in the first of the day of the first month of the Jewish calendar. It begins as explained before on the first day of Tishri. On this part of Rosh Hashanah it marks the opportunity to out the sins of previous year in the past and moving forward with Gods forgiveness.
The Day of Judgment is one of the most important theme of Rosh Hashanah, it revolves around the “Book of Life”, during this period Jews life depends on whether or not he or she makes the decision to make amends during the holiday, it is a time to repent or reflect on past mistakes and resolve in front of God and not repeat them in the coming year. The Day of Remembrance recalls the story of Isaac’s near sacrifice, where Jewish tradition states that it occurred on the first of Tishri.
This biblical event is when God commanded Isaac’s father Abraham, to sacrifice his only son as an offering and at the very last minute and angel stopped Abraham for killing Isaac. The angel then pointed out a ram in a near by bush. The angel told Abraham to sacrifice the ram in place of Isaac and passed Gods test. This story recalled on Rosh Hashanah is used to remind Jews that submission before God is the way to attain God’s Mercy. The last symbol of the Rosh Hashanah is the Day of Shofar Blowing. The shofar is a hollowed out ram’s horn.
The shofar has several implications one of them is to recall the story of Isaac. It is also announces and reaffirms God as a ruler of all mankind. The shofar is played the total of 100 notes each day of Rosh Hashanah. On the second night of the holiday it is customary to eat fruit while saying shehechiyanu meaning, “who has given us life,” is a common prayer for new and unusual experiences. Some of the popular fruits eaten during the holiday are apples with honey to represent hope to a sweet new year.
Pomegranates are also use for Rosh Hashanah because according to a Jewish legend they contain 613 seeds, one for each of the 613 mitzvot, the Jewish commandments. The reason for eating the pomegranates has to do with the symbolic hope that our good deeds in the coming year will be as many as the seeds of the fruit. Judaism is one of the oldest religion in the world, spanning over 3,000 years, this has barely touched a fraction of their traditions and religious practice because it a very complex and preserved religion and with that said I say to you Shalom Aleichem.