What Is Rosh Hashanah?

Rabbi Y. Dovid WeissBy Rabbi Y. Dovid Weiss      August 20, 2021

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What Is Rosh Hashanah?
The Jewish New Year, anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, a day of judgment and coronation and sounding of the shofar . . . What: Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the universe, the day G‑d created Adam and Eve, and it is celebrated as the head of the Jewish year.  When: The first two days of the Jewish new year, Tishrei 1 and 2, beginning at sundown on the eve of Tishrei 1. Rosh Hashanah 2021 begins at sundown on September 6 and continues through nightfall on September 8.  How: Candle lighting in the evenings,  festive meals with sweet delicacies during the night and day, prayer services that include the sounding of the ram’s horn (shofar) on both mornings, and desisting from creative work (See our calendar for details). The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah actually means “Head of the Year.” Just like the head controls the body, our actions on Rosh Hashanah have a tremendous impact on the rest of the year. As we read in the Rosh Hashanah prayers, each year on this day “all inhabitants of the world pass before G‑d like a flock of sheep,” and it is decreed in the heavenly court “who shall live, and who shall die…; who shall be impoverished and who shall be enriched; who shall fall and who shall rise.” It is a day of prayer, a time to ask the Almighty to grant us a year of peace, prosperity and blessing. It is also a joyous day when we proclaim G‑d King of the Universe. The Kabbalists teach that the continued existence of the universe depends on G‑d’s desire for a world, a desire that is renewed when we accept His kingship anew each year on Rosh Hashanah.  Greetings: On the first night of Rosh Hashanah, wish a male, “Leshanah tovah tikatev vetichatem;” for a female say, “Leshanah tovah tikatevee vetichatemee” (“May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year”). At other times, wish them a “Gemar chatimah tovah” (“A good inscription and sealing [in the Book of Life]”).  Chabad of Topanga Jewish Center is located at 1459 Old Topanga Canyon Rd., Topanga, CA 90290. For information: ChabadofTopanga.com; Office: (310) 455-1597; Cell: (310) 920-5900.
Rabbi Y. Dovid Weiss

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