In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means “Head of the year”, but you’re probably more familiar with the biblical term, ?ro?? h????n?]. Rosh Hashanah is observed the first and second day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. And by Jewish calendar Bossy does not mean this:
But, rather, this:
The holiday has four different meanings: it is the Jewish New Year, the Day of Judgment, the Day of Remembrance, and the Day of the Sounding of the Shofar. And the Day of Outlet-Mall Shopping makes five.
No work is permitted on Rosh Hashanah. Unless you work for the federal government, local unions, most school districts, major hospitals, accounting firms, county libraries, banks, architecture firms, retail stores, law practices, engineering companies, hotel chains, municipal service industries, major league sports teams, computer software designers, public transportation systems, or the federal post office.
As exciting as Christmas minus all the sparkly gifts, the tree, the eggnog, the mistletoe, the caroling, and the turkey — Rosh Hashanah marks the day when the Jews head to the synagogue to examine their past deeds, ask for forgiveness, contemplate their history, pray for Israel, and blow. The Shofar.
The Shofar is a ram’s horn that is blown like a trumpet during the synagogue service, symbolically awakening the congregation and warning them of their coming judgment. There are four different Shofar notes of various tones and suspension: the tekiah, the shevarim, the teruah, and the tekia gedolah. And the what-in-Mary’s-name-was-that? makes five.
The Mahzor is a special prayer book used for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which includes the prayer, “Who is like unto you, O God… And You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” Followed by the prayer, “Who, like, wrote this book, O God… And can You hurry and cast it into the sea along with the sins and other stuff.”
On the first night of the two-day celebration, the Rosh Hashanah meal features apples and carrots dipped in honey to symbolize the sweetness of the coming year. Round challah bread is served to symbolize the cyclical nature of the year. And Tongue or other meats from the head are often served to symbolize the head of the year. Similarly Sirloin Tips or other meats from the ass can be served to symbolize the shitty year you’ve left behind.
On the second night of the celebration the family goes to a high school football game and eats ham sandwiches on the bleachers.