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.
BossysMom saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 11:46 am
I’ve never been quite so happy or giggly on Rosh Hashanana. Thanks Bossy. And by the way you make a better Rabbi than Barbara Strisand.
surcie saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 11:55 am
Awesome! I’ve learned a lot from this post. L’shanah tovah, Bossy!
Liz Tee saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 11:59 am
LOL at the symbolism of sirloin tips! If my husband makes it to New Year’s Day in his struggle with cancer, we’re having sirloin tips.
magpie saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm
Thank you for elucidating this here shiksa. I will remind the 6yo to blow the shofar tonight, the one she acquired at the JCC day camp she went to last summer…
GrandeMocha saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm
Z. Mulls saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 12:38 pm
What’s with the Jeffrey Tambor calendar?
Jacquie saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 1:05 pm
Oh, I’d be all about the ass meat this year.
Happy New Year to all who are rocking the shofar today!
Bethann saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 3:15 pm
Just found your site (thank you, PW!) OMG.
Just what I needed, another addiction.
Im never gonna get any work done…
joeinvegas saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 3:42 pm
KathyB saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm
Oh, Bethann, you must go find some Barbie theater in Bossy’s archives. Welcome to addiction with no applicable 12 step cure.
The Domestic Goddess saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 8:48 pm
I was wondering when the ham sammiches came in. Like any good Jew you’ve included them in the Rosh Hashanah football game.
Debby saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 10:08 pm
Thank you, because I have always wondered. Especially about the ass part of the cow!
Bethann, total Word on the Barbie thing. And the 10 Word Tuesday’s, I live for those. And Stella. And (Bossy’s the bomb!)
JaneK saysSeptember 9, 2010 at 10:27 pm
You are TOO FUNNY! I laughed out loud on this one. Love the bit about the sirloin adn the shitty year….I’ll be eating lots of that for this year!
Lisa saysSeptember 10, 2010 at 12:52 am
One of your best all time posts! Thank you and Shalom!
meredith saysSeptember 10, 2010 at 8:05 am
how did you KNOW?!??? except we went with a pork stirfry instead of ham sammiches, because we’re super classy.
Birdbrain saysSeptember 10, 2010 at 11:20 am
OK, so is there a holiday when you sing that “Hava Tequila” song?
Katie Lipshultz saysSeptember 10, 2010 at 1:58 pm
Jeanne saysSeptember 10, 2010 at 6:17 pm
This was so educational!
I’m so glad Marinka steered me over here.
C.Mom saysSeptember 10, 2010 at 8:32 pm
Awesome tutorial! I am not sure the Rabbis could have written it any better! L’Shanah Tovah!
leslie (crookedstamper) saysSeptember 10, 2010 at 8:56 pm
You are so close to being correct, it’s a little bit scary. BTW, we have such a large Jewish population in Montgomery County, MD (just N of DC), our schools actually do close for Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur. True.
Jen saysSeptember 11, 2010 at 6:01 am
Okay reading “ass meat” made me laugh out loud.
Naomi saysSeptember 11, 2010 at 1:48 pm
Can’t wait for the Yom Kippur run-down…
David saysSeptember 12, 2010 at 4:31 am
L’shana tova umtukah.
runnergirl saysSeptember 12, 2010 at 8:03 pm
L’shanah tovah!!!! I thought I was relatively knowledgable on Jewish customs, but the rams horn, special prayerbook, and symbolic foods (head meat, ass meat, round bread, fruit n honey) were a welcome education to a shiksah chick!!! Thanks Bossy!!!!
kathleen saysSeptember 13, 2010 at 3:57 am
Bossy, can you hear me? This was very informative. Now I’m going to Google for more info.Because, I can’t sleep. Not that I don’t believe you, I just will Read More About It! Shalom!
Dara saysSeptember 13, 2010 at 6:35 am
Gah. You are funny, lady!
Gail K. saysSeptember 13, 2010 at 9:25 am
I came home last night to a phone message wishing us a “Happy New Year!” my DH was all confused. And even though it was a wrong number, I knew it was Rosh Hashanah (being the good Catholic girl that I am) and thought it was sweet.
So a belated L’shanah tovah to all!
Bridget saysSeptember 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm
Ha – ass meat! The Rosh Hashanah tutorial was great!