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Celebration of Rosh Hashanah-לחגוג ראש השנה 2014

Time:2014-09-26 11:33 Source:未知 Writer:cjss read:
Celebration of Rosh Hashanah-לחגוג ראש השנה 2014
Pre-Rosh Hashanah
A key component of Rosh Hashanah preparation is to ask for forgiveness from anyone we may have wronged during the previous year. To the greatest extent possible, we want to begin the year with a clean slate – and without anyone harboring a grudge against us. Similarly, we should be quick to forgive those who have wronged us.

The Festive Meal
During the High Holidays, a round challah is used – symbolizing fullness and completion. After making the "Hamotzi" blessing, it is customary to dip the bread into honey – symbolizing our prayer for a sweet new year.

Then, after the bread has been eaten, take an apple and dip it in honey. Make a blessing on the apple (since "Hamotzi" did not cover the apple) and eat a little bit of the apple. Then say, "May it be Your will, God, to renew us for a good and sweet new year." (OC 583)
Why do we ask for both a "good" AND "sweet" year? Doesn't the word "good" automatically include "sweet?" Judaism teaches that everything happens for the good. It is all part of the Divine will. Even things that may look "bad" in our eyes, are actually "good." So we ask that in addition to good, the year should be a "revealed" good – i.e. one that tastes "sweet" to us.

Symbolic Foods
On Rosh Hashanah, we eat foods that symbolize good things we hope for in the coming year. We contemplate what these foods symbolize, and connect with the Source of all good things. Here is a list from the Talmud of symbolic foods customarily eaten on Rosh Hashanah. (The food and its related meaning are written in capital letters.)
  • After eating BEETS, say: "May it be Your will, God, that our adversaries be REMOVED."

  • After eating DATES, say: "May it be Your will, God, that our enemies be FINISHED."

Rosh Hashanah Prayers
Since there are so many unique prayers on Rosh Hashanah, we use a special prayer book called a "Machzor."(  מחזור)

The Shofar
The essential mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah is to hear the shofar.

The shofar used on Rosh Hashanah should be a curved ram's horn, and longer than four inches. It is permitted to use the shofar of an animal not ritually slaughtered.
The shofar is regarded as a spiritual alarm clock, awakening us from our slumber.
The shofar should be blown during the daytime. Everyone should stand, and have the intention that their obligation is being fulfilled.
Before blowing, two blessings are recited: "To hear the sound of the shofar, Once the blessings have been made, one may not speak until the end of the shofar blowing.

Other Customs

It is customary to greet others with: "L'shana Tova – Ketivah vi-chatima Tova."(לשנה טובה)This means: "For a good year – You should be written and sealed in the good (Book of Life)."
One should try not to sleep or go for idle walks on the day of Rosh Hashanah. (The Arizal permits a nap in the afternoon.)
 
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, 2014 begins on the sunset of Wednesday, the 24th of September and ends in the evening of Friday, September 26. In the Hebrew calendar it falls on 1 and 2 Tishrei. תִּשְׁרֵי
שנה טובה לכולם!!!Happy New Year to all!!

(Author:cjss)