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Rosh Hashana

What is Rosh Hashana?

Rosh Hashana is the day on which G-d completed the creation of this world, by creating Adam, the original man. Adam's very first act was to proclaim the Almighty as King of the Universe. He called upon all creatures: "Come, let us worship, bow down, and kneel before G-d, our maker."

Each Rosh Hashana, we too proclaim the Kingship of G-d, and reaffirm our commitment to serve Him well.

Just as on the original Rosh Hashana, G-d created the world for the first time, so each Rosh Hashana He reconsiders and re-evaluates the quality of our relationship with Him, and creates our world anew.

The Book of Life

On the first evening of Rosh Hashana, after services, we exchange the traditional blessing, "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."

Our sages explain that on Rosh Hashana, we all stand in judgment before G-d -- "like a flock of sheep before the shepherd." If we are worthy, we are "inscribed" in the "Book of Life." Ten days later, on Yom Kippur, the Book is sealed.

Through repentance, prayer, and charity, we can sweeten the decree, and merit G-d's blessings for health, wellbeing, and prosperity for the coming year.

Please read the Essays for more insights on the above points.

Other Articles in this section:
Rosh Hashana - Calendar
7/13/2014

Erev Rosh Hashana and Rosh Hashana - The days and the customs. 
Essay - The Inner Motivation For Prayer
9/21/2008

The machzor for Rosh HaShanah contains many prayers which petition G-d that (for example) "we be remembered and inscribed in the Book of life... 
Essay - At One With G-d; At One With Our Fellow Man
9/21/2008

On Rosh HaShanah, our divine service revolves around the acceptance of G-d as King. Throughout the year, we regard G-d's sovereignty as an... 
Essay - At one with The King
9/21/2008

There is nothing arbitrary about a name given in the Holy Tongue: the very letters that constitute such a name disclose the intrinsic nature of the... 
Essay - The Purpose Of Creation
9/21/2008

Rosh HaShanah recalls the creation of the world, as we see from the prayer, "Today the world was born." According to our Sages, however, the... 
Traditional Foods and Recipes
9/21/2008

It is customary on Rosh Hashana to eat foods symbolizing sweetness, blessings, and abundance. We dip the challah in honey; and afterwards... 
Tashlich
9/21/2008

On the first day of Rosh Hashana (or the 2nd day when the first day of Rosh Hashana is on Shabbos), following the afternoon prayer, we visit a body... 
Shofar
9/21/2008

On Rosh Hashana [during the daytime] we must hear the sounding of at least the first thirty of the prescribed blasts of the shofar - the ram's horn. 
Annulment of Vows
9/21/2008

It is explained in the Talmud and in Halachic works that the absolution, annulment or invalidation of vows or oaths applies only to those which one... 
   
 

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