FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM SEPTEMBER 19, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 53
jewish new year
Sweet ways to celebrate Rosh Hashanah
Rosh Hashanah is a Jewish holiday
marking the fi rst and second days of the
Jewish year. (In 2019, Rosh Hashanah
begins at sundown on Sunday, Sept.
29 and continues through nightfall on
Tuesday, Oct. 1). It’s the day God created
Adam and Eve, and it’s celebrated as the
head of the Jewish year.
Rosh Hashanah is celebrated with hearing
the sounding of the ram’s horn (shofar)
on both mornings; lighting candles; eating
festive meals; and prayers at synagogue.
The central observance of Rosh
Hashanah is hearing the sounding of the
shofar,the ram’s horn. It is a mitzvah to
hear the shofar on both mornings of the
holiday (except if the fi rst day is Shabbat,
in which case we only blow the shofar on
the second day).
Th e fi rst 30 blasts of the shofar are
blown following the Torah-reading
during morning services, and as many as
70 are then blown during (and immediately
aft er) the Musaf service. For someone
who cannot come to synagogue, the
shofar may be blown the rest of the day.
If you cannot make it out, please contact
your closest Chabad center to see about
arranging a “house call.”
As with every major Jewish holiday,
women and girls light candles on each
evening of Rosh Hashanah and recite the
appropriate blessings. On the second night
(or if lighting aft er nightfall on the fi rst
night), make sure to use an existing fl ame.
Th ink about a new fruit that you will be
eating (or garment that you are wearing)
while you say the Shehechiyanu blessing.
We eat festive meals every night and
day of the holiday. Like all other holiday
meals, we begin by reciting kiddush over
wine and then say the blessing over bread.
But there are some important diff erences,
as we’ll explain below. Furthering the
sweet theme, it is traditional to begin the
meal on the fi rst night with slices of apple
dipped in honey. Before eating the apple,
we make the ha’eitz blessing and then say,
“May it be Your will to renew for us a
good and sweet year.”
Much of the day is spent in the synagogue.
Th e evening and aft ernoon prayers
are similar to the prayers said on a regular
holiday. However, the morning services
are signifi cantly longer.
Th e holiday prayerbook—called a
machzor—contains all the prayers and
Torah readings for the entire day. Th e
most signifi cant addition is the shofar
blowing ceremony. However, there
are also other important elements of the
prayer service that are unique to Rosh
Rosh Hashanah is the start of the
Yamim Nora’im (High Holidays). The
holy day of Yom Kippur, when we gather
in the synagogue for 25 hours of fasting,
prayer and inspiration, is just a
week later. The days in between (known
as the 10 Days of Repentance, or the
Ten Days of Return) are an especially
propitious time for teshuvah, returning
to God. Yom Kippur is followed by the
joyous holidays of Sukkot and Simchat
Copyright and reprinted with permission
of Chabad.org. Edited for format.