Rosh Hashanah, or ‘Head of the Year‘ refers to the Jewish New Year celebration that begins the High Holy Days, the Days of Awe. This is a ten day period of self-reflection, fasting and repentance, and commences on the first day of Tishrei.
Rosh Hashanah is more than just a central and beloved festival in the psyche of the Jewish community. The magnitude of this moment in our calendar has become one of the few truly unifying elements of Jewish identity, there is a seemingly irresistible force that temporarily brings the whole of klal yisrael, the people of Israel, together.
As Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner and Ben Lewis write, Rosh Hashanah is a time of gathering for many in the community who otherwise might only mark Seder night and maybe Yom Kippur. New Years resolutions do feature, but tend to focus on our relationships to one another, the world and God. And while the secular New Year is feted with heavy drinking and partying, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated with gatherings filled with sweet foods and over eating.
But can Rosh Hashanah do more for us than bring us around a nostalgic family table? You can read more here.