A bowl of honey sits atop sliced, green apples

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah

| Burlington County Library

This year, Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset on Sunday, Sept. 25 and ends after sunset on Tuesday, Sept. 27. People greet each other by saying Shana Tova, which means “good year.” Most Jews will attend synagogue services and celebrate in many different ways with songs, prayers, stories and special foods.

A two-day observance, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated around the world as the Jewish New Year in the seventh month of the Hebrew Calendar. It commemorates the creation of the world and is the first of the Jewish High Holy Days. In the Bible, it is referred as Yom Teruah, or the Feast of the Trumpets as the Shofar (ram’s horn) is blown each day during the holiday period. The sound of the Shofar is a reminder of spiritual reawakening as the New Year begins.

Rosh Hashanah is a time to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the upcoming one. It marks the beginning of the Days of Awe, a ten-day period of introspection and repentance that ends with the Yom Kippur holiday, also known as the Day of Atonement. Celebratory meals during Rosh Hashanah include favorites like yeasty challah, matzo ball soup and apples dipped in honey. Sweet foods are favored for a sweet new year. And food during the holiday has a circular shape to symbolize the eternal cycle of life, of endings and new beginnings.

With the start of the High Holy Days, BCLS wishes the Jewish community Shana Tova and we offer the following resources to anyone who wants to learn more about Rosh Hashanah and Judaism: