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Sunday night marked the beginning of Rosh Hashanah 2019, the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah, which translates into “head of the year” in Hebrew will begin on Friday and will last through the end of the evening of Sunday, September 20. The holiday is one of the most important dates in the Jewish calendar and is thought to be the day God created Adam and Eve.
How to wish someone a happy Rosh Hashanah
To wish someone a happy Rosh Hashanah “Shanah tovah” is an appropriate greeting.
The phrase means “good year” in Hebrew and can be used through the season.
Some other greetings including “Leshana tovah tikatev v’tichatem” which is appropriate to say to men returning from synagogue service.
When greeting a female, this is modified to “Leshana tovah tikatevee v’tichatemee”.
The phrase translated to “May you be written and sealed for a good year”, according to chabad.org.
You may also hear people say “Chag sameach”, meaning Happy holiday, but according to reformjudaism.org, the phrase is normally only used on the three pilgrimage festivals Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot.
Another traditional greeting for both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is a Yiddish greeting, “Gut yontif,” which means “Wishing you a good holiday.”
How to celebrate Rosh Hashanah
The Jewish New Year is celebrated in many ways, including prayers at the synagogue and the blowing of the “shofar”.
Shofar is a hollowed-out ram’s horn and is blown after reading from the Torah – the Jewish religious text.
Around 100 blasts can often be heard throughout the New Year at the synagogue, symbolising a call for repentance.
However, the maybe most known tradition is the sweet food Jews eat on the occasion.
The most popular customs are apples and honey and is meant to symbolise the hope for a sweet and happy new year.
Jews will say a special song before dipping apple slices in honey, which is said to have healing properties.
This is a tradition that has been in the Jewish religion for centuries and the honey, again, signifies the hope for the new year to be sweet.
The song sung before eating the apples goes: “Dip the apple in the honey, make a bracha [blessing] loud and clear. L’Shana Tova U’Metuka, have a happy sweet New Year.”
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