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September, 2012

Rosh Hashanah, or "Head of the Year" is celebrated as a two-day holiday, a time for reflection on the thoughts and deeds of the passing year and a time for hope for the year to come.

The Shofar, or Ram's Horn, is sounded on both days of Rosh Hashanah. The oldest and most soulful of wind instruments, the Shofar commemorates the receiving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai and awakens observers to repent for their sins. A festive meal for Rosh Hashanah is prepared as for the Sabbath, with roast chicken or turkey or beef brisket, challah bread, chopped liver, wine and chicken soup with kreplach or matzo balls. It is also customary on Rosh Hashanah to eat foods that symbolize sweetness, blessings and abundance for the coming year. A plate of sliced apples is added, and a slice of apple and challah bread is dipped in honey with hopes of a sweet year. Pomegranates and carrots are also eaten.