Since we are an inclusive and welcoming community, let’s remember our Jewish faculty/staff members and families that are celebrating this week! This year RoshHashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated in 2013 from sundown on September 4th to nightfall on September 6th.
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It falls once a year during the month of Tishrei and occurs ten days before Yom Kippur. Together, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as the Yamim Noraíim, which means the Days of Awe in Hebrew. In English they are often referred to as the High Holy Days.
Rosh Hashanah is observed on the first two days of Tishrei. Jewish tradition teaches that during the High Holy Days God decides who will live and who will die during the coming year. As a result, during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (and in the days leading up to them) Jews embark upon the serious task of examining their lives and repenting for any wrongs they have committed during the previous year. This process of repentance is called teshuvah. Jews are encouraged to make amends with anyone they have wronged and to make plans for improving during the coming year. In this way, Rosh Hashanah is all about making peace in the community and striving to be a better person.
What do we say to those who celebrate Rosh Hashanah?
On Rosh Hashanah it is customary to greet people with "L'Shanah Tovah," (sha-na-toe-va) which is Hebrew that is usually translated as "For a Good Year" or "May you have a good year." Some people also say "L'shana tovah tikatev v'etahetem," which means "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year." (If said to a woman the greeting would be: "L'shanah tovah tikatevi v'tahetemi"). This greeting refers to the belief that a personís fate for the coming year is decided during the High Holy Days.
What food is prepared for Rosh Hashanah?
Certain foods are prepared for Rosh Hashanah and carry specific meanings. Apples and bread dipped in honey represents a sweet new year to come. Challah bread is often baked into round creations to serve as symbols of the cyclical nature of the year. Raisins are added to signify a sweet new year. Sometimes, the bread is dipped in honey to symbolize the sweetness they wish to take place in the coming years. Fish is a typical dish which is served. Fish is known as a traditional symbol of fertility and prosperity. Since its eyes are always open, the creature represents knowledge. Pomegranate is often part of the holiday meal as well. It is said to have 613 seeds, which is the number of mitzvot (commandments). The pomegranate therefore serves to remind God of the obedience of the family in the prior year.
So to all of our wonderful members of the Lovett community that are celebrating RoshHashanah,