Rosheshoneh-greetings in Yiddish.
Rosheshoneh (Rosh Hashana in Hebrew – Rosh means head or beginning, and Hashana means year). In Israel, the beginning of the year is celebrated for only one day, but in the Diaspora is celebrated for two days for the reason that the time difference makes the celebration match in the world at some point in those two days.
According to the Bible, Rosheshoneh starts on the first day of Tishrei (the seventh month according to the Hebrew calendar). This date is believed to be attributed to the creation of the universe. According to the tradition Rosheshoneh is also the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman. As the tradition goes each year on Rosh Hashanah, all inhabitants of the world pass before the creator 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.”
The sounding of the shoyfer (shofar in Hebrew), according to the tradition, represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their king. The cry of the shofar is also considered a call to repentance; for Rosh Hashanah is also the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which culminate in Yoymkipper the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur in Hebrew).
THE TRADITIONS AND CUSTOMS OF ROSHESHONEH
1) Blow the shoyfer, which is a ram’s horn or horn of an antelope. Formerly it was used to gather the people before some important event, and called the masses to joy, grief or war. The shoyfer blower recites two blessings and then blows a set sequence of three kinds of blasts: 1) Tekiah — an uninterrupted blast lasting for several seconds. 2) Shevarim — three medium length blasts. 3) Teruah — a minimum of nine very short blasts.
2) Eat sweet things, especially honey and apple. The perfect apple shape and its sweet taste and fragrance, is a symbol of sweetness, beauty and hope for the coming year. Hope of a good health and prosperity. You dip the apple in honey to symbolize the hope that the new year will be a sweet and prosperous year.
3) Eat round bread. The spherical shape of the round challah (bread) symbolizes the beginning and end of converging at the same point. It is also custom of eating a carrot dish (zimmesh), because in Yiddish the word for carrots, “meren”, means to multiply.
4) On the first day of Rosheshoneh in the afternoon many religious Jews come to a river, a stream or the ocean, empty pockets, and pray to enter the new year free of sins. This custom is called “Tashlich” (the ‘throwing’ away of your sins). “And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea.”
5) Bless one another with the words Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim, “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.” It is common to send “blessing-cards” or greeting-cards, Shonehtoyves, to family and friends with best wishes for peace, happiness health and work.
6) Before every Jewish meal the hands are washed and the blessing said:
Rosheshoneh in Japanese
Jews at ‘B’nai Kabul’
Blowing a shoyfer is a task for a man – and not an easy task.
A shoyfer (shofar in Hebrew) is made of a rams horn – or the horn of an African antelope. Shoyfers therefore can be of different forms and sizes.