8 Rosh Hashanah Facts, plus 8 Rosh Hashanah Greetings

~ The Rosh Hashanah Cliff Notes ~

What is Rosh Hashanah?
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish celebration of the New Year.

When is Rosh Hashanah?
Rosh Hashanah takes place on the first day of the Hebrew month Tishrei. In the Hebrew calendar, Tishrei is the seventh month of the year.

What does Rosh Hashanah mean?
The literal translation of "Rosh Hashanah" is "head of the year."

Why is Rosh Hashanah important?
Rosh Hashanah begins the leadup to Yom Kippur, some of the holiest days in the Hebrew year (known as "Days of Awe"). Rosh Hashanah celebrates God's creation of humankind and is sometimes viewed as a birthday celebration as opposed to a New Year's celebration.

Why is Rosh Hashanah two days?
Rosh Hashanah is celebrated over two days due to questions about when the new moon would appear in the sky.

What does dying on Rosh Hashanah mean?
Some, but not all, Jewish people believe that dying during Rosh Hashanah indicates you were a righteous person during your life.  This particular notion gained much more traction after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died during Rosh Hashanah 2020. 

Rosh Hashanah Facts

What is tzaddik? What does tzaddik Rosh Hashanah mean?
A tzaddik (or for a woman, tzaddika) is a Hebrew word meaning a righteous person.

What are some symbolic foods of Rosh Hashanah?

  • Apples & Honey
  • Round Challah
  • Pomegranates.
  • Fish Head on The Table
  • Carrots

What is the proper greeting for Rosh Hashanah?
There are a number of sweet ways to wish someone a happy new year for Rosh Hashanah.

  • "Shanah Tovah" means "Good year" (essentially "Happy New Year") in Hebrew.
  • "L'Shanah tovah" is the same.
  • "Shanah tovah um’tukah" means "Have a good and sweet year."
  • "Happy Rosh Hashanah" is easy and kind!
  • "L’shanah tovah tikateivu v’teichateimu" means "A good year, and may you be inscribed and sealed." This refers to the Book of Life.
  • In Yiddish, "Gut yontif" means "Have a good holiday." This greeting can be used for a number of Jewish holidays, including the traditionally somber Yom Kippur.
  • You can also say "Yom tov" for "good day."
  •  "To a happy and healthy new year."

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