La’Shana Tova! (Happy New Years / Rosh Hashanah!)
Prepare to Party Like It’s 5771!
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and is considered to be one of the most important Jewish holidays. All over the world Jewish followers celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of creation of life on Earth.
The celebration of Rosh Hashanah is celebrated with many sweet foods, like honey cakes and apples dipped in honey. Jews do this in hopes that it will bring a “sweet year”. Other symbolic foods that are often found on Rosh Hashanah are pomegranates, carrots and sometimes the head of a fish.
A. The head of a fish symbolizes being on the top instead of on the bottom.
B.Pomegranates symbolize plenty, due to the incredible amount of seeds inside.
C. Carrots symbolize two very different things:
1. For Ashkenazi Jews, carrots symbolize the Jewish word “merren”. Merren means more. For the New Year, Jews eat carrots in hopes of more of the good things that can be found in life: more health, more happiness, and more success.
2. For Sephardic Jews, carrots symbolize the phrase “Yikaretu Oyveychem”. This means “may your enemies be cut down”. These Jews wish that those who are not friendly towards them do not succeed and get their wish.
D. Challot, which is made with honey and raisins, is another sweet treat on the holiday. Again, it symbolizes a happy and sweet year. Decorations on the Challot, like birds, can represent doves of peace.
Rosh Hashanah lasts for two days, beginning on the first day of Tishrei. It is also the beginning of the ten days of atonement called Yamim Noraim, which ends on Yom Kippur. On Rosh Hashanah, mankind is judged. However, the judgment at that time can be changed. In the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, repent, ask for atonement, and make up for their sins, which can change the Rosh Hashanah judgment. Only after Yom Kippur has ended has the judgment been finalized.