The Significance Of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

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Rosh Hashanah celebrates the creation of the world in the Jewsh faith (Credit:Public Domain pictures.net)

Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year, will be celebrated from sundown on September 6, 2021, through sundown on September 8, 2021. The two-day observance, which starts on the first day of Tishrei — the seventh month on the Jewish calendar — commemorates the creation of the world.

It also marks the beginning of the Days of Awe. The 10-day period, which ends with Yom Kippur, is a time to think about the past year and ask for God's forgiveness for any wrongdoing. Rosh Hashanah's exact date, determined by the Hebrew calendar, changes every year. However, it is almost always in September or October.

Unlike the New Year celebrations in January, Rosh Hashanah, which means "head of the year," is a quiet and reflective holiday. Observers attend special synagogue services where they sing songs, listen to readings from holy Jewish texts, and recite prayers from the machzor. The special prayer book is only used during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Sounding the shofar is an important part of Rosh Hashanah (Credit: Jonathunder/CC BY-SA 3.0/ Wikimedia Commons)

Perhaps the most important element of the holiday is the ceremonial sounding of the shofar — a trumpet typically made from a ram’s horn. Shofar blowers begin by reciting a collection of holy verses and blessings. They then sound the instrument in four different sets: A long blast known as tekiah, three short blasts known as shevarim, nine rapid blasts known as teruah, and a very long blast called a tekiah gedolah.

Following the religious service, observers return home for a delicious meal, which incorporates many symbolic foods. A round loaf of challah represents the circle of life, while apples and honey stand for good health and happiness in the upcoming year.

Yom Kippur

The 10 Days of Awe end with Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. This year, the holiday will be observed from sundown on September 15 through sundown on September 16, 2021. Considered the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, it is spent in continuous prayer at the synagogue. Jews do not work or go to school on this day. Many also fast for 25 hours, don white clothing, and refrain from wearing make-up, perfume, or leather shoes. Yom Kippur ends with a joyous celebration and a breaking of the fast.

Yom Kippur is credited to the prophet Moses. According to Jewish tradition, when the people of Israel left Egypt, they went to Mount Sinai. Moses climbed to the top of the mountain and received two tablets with the Ten Commandments from God. The first commandment told people to only worship God. But when Moses came down the mountain, he found the Israelites worshiping a golden calf. Moses destroyed the tablets in anger. However, after the people made amends for their sins, God forgave them and gave Moses a second set of tablets.

shana tovah u’metukah ( A good and sweet year)!

Resources: History.com, Patch.com, Hfcc.edu, Wikipedia,org

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32 Comments
  • alil-edr
    alil-edrover 1 year
    I am jewish and celebrate this holiday if you do follow me !
  • flowerqueen1
    flowerqueen1over 1 year
    I am Jewish and I have to do a slide show on this website and I found this so I thought this would be a good one to do. If you think I should do something different please let me know.
    • ash16
      ash16over 1 year
      Its so cool that they have 3 types of special horns!
      • cupcake71
        cupcake71over 1 year
        I have a friend that is Jewish. Now I can tell her all the stuff I learned
      • zoren
        zorenover 1 year
        nice!
        • olddan
          olddanover 1 year
          Cool
          • bonowasovepy
            • chloe1204
              chloe1204over 1 year
              So,cool!
              • bsc
                bscover 1 year
                I celebrate Rosh Hashanah as well as Hanukkah. Shana tovah!
                • brooklynj
                  brooklynjover 1 year
                  This is so cool! I remember learning some of this in my history class. Diffrent cultures are so cool this one if diffrent from ours and crazy and awesome and sounds kinda fun! I love holidays! If I hear about a holiday in a diffrent place we don't celebrate and it sounds fun to me my mom lets me do it! Because it teaches you about history and she's happy I'm into that!