At The Little Market, we are proud to celebrate cultural diversity. Our community of supporters, including customers, readers, our team, and the artisans we work with, are from all over the world. We value inclusivity, and we currently work with more than 60 artisan groups in 28 countries. On this blog, Cultural Exchange, we love to explore different cultural traditions and holidays recognized across the globe. Today, we focus on Rosh Hashanah.
Rosh Hashanah, or “head of the year” in Hebrew, is the Jewish New Year and is one of the holiest days within Judaism. This “day of judgment” is spent in prayer, reflection, and repentance and marks the beginning of the Days of Awe that lead up to Yom Kippur.
This year, Rosh Hashanah begins on the evening of Sept. 9 and is observed through the evening of Sept. 11. According to the Talmud, a religious text in Judaism, Rosh Hashanah takes place at the beginning of Tishrei, the seven month in the Jewish calendar. It is believed that God created the world on the first day of Tishrei.
In the time leading up to the holidays, there is a special service known as Slichot, meaning forgiveness in Hebrew. During these prayers, worshippers ask for God’s forgiveness and prepare for Rosh Hashanah. In tradition, God will judge observers during Rosh Hashanah and determine their fate for the next year.
During Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, holiday services in the synagogue last from early morning to afternoon and include a special prayer book known as the Machhzor. These prayers indicate how especially significant these holy holidays are.
In addition to time spent in prayer and repentance, other practices include eating pomegranates as the seeds represent several commandments in the Torah, the blowing of the shofar instrument as a call to repentance, eating apples in honey to represent a sweet year ahead, candle lighting with special prayers, and baking Challah bread in a round shape rather than braided to symbolize the circle of life and to celebrate God as the king of the Universe.
To those observing Rosh Hashanah, “Shanah Tovah.”
History.com – Rosh Hashanah History
CNN.com – Rosh Hashanah Fast Facts
Chabad.org – What is Rosh Hashanah?
Thought.co – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Greetings
How Stuff Works – How Rosh Hashanah Works