Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Hashanah’

L'Shana Tova

L’Shana Tova

For Jews around the world, this evening marks the beginning of the two day celebration of their New Year, Rosh Hashana.

The festival of Rosh Hashanah which means Head of the New Year is observed for two days beginning on the first day of the Jewish  year.  It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman.  The explanation below was excerpted from the web site Chabad.org


The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, which also represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their king. The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance, for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man’s first sin and his repentance thereof,  and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Another significance of the shofar is to recall the Binding of Isaac  which also occurred on Rosh Hashanah, in which a ram took Isaac’s place as an offering to God; we evoke Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son, and plead that the merit of his deed should stand by us as we pray for a year of life, health and prosperity. Altogether, we listen to one hundred shofar blasts over the course of the Rosh Hashanah services.

Additional Rosh Hashanah observances include: a) Eating a piece of apple dipped in honey, to symbolize our desire for a sweet year, and other special foods symbolic of the new year’s blessings. b) Blessing one another with the words “Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim,” “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” c) Tashlich, a special prayer said near a body of water (an ocean, river, pond, etc.), in evocation of the verse, “And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea.” And as with every major Jewish holiday, after candlelighting and prayers we recite kiddush and make a blessing on the challah.

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A kudu horn, used by Yemenite Jews as a shofar...

Image via Wikipedia

ESPECIALLY if you’re invited to celebrate the New Year at a Rosh Hashana dinner!!!

First you need to know that they get to celebrate New Year’s twice, once with the rest of us at a party with no real food and too much cheap champagne and then when their own Hebrew calendar indicates the date of the new year and they celebrate this day with family and friends and lots of good food.  This is the year 5771 -just in case anyone should ask you at the table.

Balaboste: A good homemaker, a gracious host and of course the woman to whose home you have been invited.  This is important to remember.

Bissel: A little bit, a taste.  Even if you’ve had enough to eat, if your hostess wants to give you more, say “well just a bissel”.

Challah Bread: An eggy doughy bread – a special recipe bread for holidays, shaped so you can tear a piece off easily – and then you can dip in honey for a sweet new year!

Gilfelte Fish: Not really a fish but rather a combination of ground fish- served with horseradish, often as the first course.

Mishpocheh: Family- as in the whole mishpocheh might be present this meal.

Mishegas: Craziness – so if you hear one person say to the other “you’re mishegas”, stay out of that conversation.

Nosh: Nibble – The hostess may offer you some tidbits before dinner, something to nosh on.

Shofar: A ram’s horn -During the New Year service, a prayer is read and the ram’s horn is blown.

Schmutz: A little dirt or smear-When one of the kids spills something on their clothes at the table – “oh it’s just a little schmutz”.

L’Shanah Tovah: “For a good year” – This is the new year greeting that you will hear all night long.

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