Israeli President Shimon Peres in his annual Rosh Hashanah message told world Jewry there is “no room to lose hope” in the coming year. Rosh Hashanah, he pointed out in the message released Thursday, “carries with it great opportunities and great hope,” and Yom Kippur is “the time to forgive all the mistakes we have committed, knowingly or unknowingly, and we all commit mistakes.”
So this is where it all comes together — all the thought, all the planning, the testing. And the tasting, the tasting, the tasting. (That’s the best part). A simanim-inspired menu brings added challenges, but it also adds a level of meaning to your Rosh Hashanah meal. Simanim — literally it means signs or indicators — are meant to point the way to improved circumstances.
I have prayed in synagogues in many foreign countries around the world including Italy, Venezuela, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Belgium, Kenya, Egypt, Australia, and Russia, but this was my first time chanting the “Shema” with a group of Jewish women all wearing saris.
Breaking the fast has its own set of traditions. Ashkenazim usually break the fast with something salty, like herring, because they believe fish restores salt lost by the body while fasting. Herring also was the cheapest fish in Eastern Europe, where the custom originated.
In the words of Elton John, why is it that “sorry seems to be the hardest word?”
Don’t let Maimonides catch you napping on Rosh HaShanah.
More than just a series of days on a calendar, or merely an occasion for the obligatory visit to synagogue, the High Holy Days offer a month-long opportunity for self-reflection, communal prayer and ritual that together allow us each to create our own spiritual journey.
High Holy Days event calendar
Apples, honey and a freshly baked round challah are traditionally served at the beginning of our Rosh Hashanah dinner. The shape of the challah represents unending happiness, and foods sweetened with honey symbolize a sweet and happy new year ahead.
One of the most meaningful customs at each Rosh Hashanah meal is the dipping of apples into honey. By doing so we make a sweet fruit, the apple, taste even sweeter.
A Rosh Hashanah musical parody by The Ein Prat Fountainheads
"Brick walls are there for a reason," wrote the late Dr. Randy Pausch, author of the best-selling book, "The Last Lecture."
I remember the moment well. I had just picked up my 74-year-old mother at LAX, and as we entered my new house in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood, I proudly showed her the new kitchen.
Jews often live in calendar dialectics. Annually, we oscillate between two Jewish New Years (Tishrei/Nissan) and two "Judgment Days" (Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur). the Dubner Maggid, Rabbi Yaakov Krantz, perhaps the greatest Jewish storyteller of all time, was once asked: Why do we celebrate both Simchat Torah and Shavuot? Why not condense them into one grand holiday?
We need more stamps," a little boy yells. "How many cards do we have left?" asked a dark-haired woman. "I have more envelopes!" shouts a girl in a skirt.
This year Rosh Hashana was on Sept. 6 and Yom Kippur will start Sunday night, Sept. 15. In between them, during the 10 Days of Repentance, was Sept. 11.
"Go away!" Gabe, 15, yells at his two younger brothers, having been rudely awakened by a blast of the shofar.
The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana ("Head of the Year" in Hebrew), is an occasion for celebration and feasting but also for introspection and reflection.
Although I was there, I can't tell you much about the events of Sept. 11, 2001, that you don't already know. After all, you had CNN; I only had my two eyes and the prescription lenses I thankfully remembered to grab as I fled the apartment.
Next week is Rosh Hashana, the Birthday of the World. Soon you get to eat apples and honey.
Every Erev Rosh Hashana, our dining room table is set with the requisite items: apples, honey,tongue and beets. Zucchini and black-eyed peas.
On behalf of the State of Israel, it is my honor to commend this community for all the magnificent work you have done with and on behalf of the Israeli people during this most painful year.
It may not be as long and involved as the Passover seder, but for Raquel Bensimon, the ritualized dinner of Rosh Hashana is just as sweet and just as replete with memories.
At sundown on Monday we usher in the happiest day of our calendar, Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. For the next 10 days we'll be called upon to reexamine our lives -- to wake up and not only smell the roses, but plant them for other people to enjoy.
In light of Tuesday's terrorist attacks, synagogues and other Jewish organizations scrambled to evaluate security precautions.
The festival of Rosh Hashana celebrates the beginning of the Jewish New Year, and family meals are an important part of this holiday. Traditions include serving a round challah and apples dipped in honey symbolizing a sweet and well-rounded new year.
In October 1999, I went through the personal tragedy of a divorce. I felt personally lost, very much alone. A lady in my congregational community, Lilly Kahn-Rose, approached me one Shabbat soon after, offering to help me in some way. I responded: "Please invite me and my children for some Shabbat meals, and please help me get some Shabbat meal invitations from others in the community. I can buy cold cuts, side dishes, and challah, can recite kiddush and lead z'mirot melodies, but it is going to be so lonely and feel so minimalist in our apartment. Please help me get me some Shabbat invitations."
Isaac submits without struggle to the twisted leather straps that bind him. He is a helpless partner in this odd dance of death. Abraham reaches for the knife to slit his son's throat when mercifully, an angel calls out to stop the slaughter. A ram is to die instead of the boy.