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September 3, 2013 > Rosh Hashanah welcomes New Year

Rosh Hashanah welcomes New Year

While many do their New Year's celebrating at the first chime of January, for those of the Jewish faith, the time for reflection and renewal is just about to begin.

Meaning "head of the year" in Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah is the celebration of the Jewish New Year which begins on the evening of Wednesday, September 4 and lasts through the evening of Friday, September 6. It is a time for prayer, repentance, and making amends as well as spending time with family and friends, partaking of specific foods, and attending services.

Rosh Hashanna serves as the first of Ten Days of Repentance which ends with Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, on September 13 and 14. The sounding of the shofar (ram's horn) symbolizes this call to repentance and is sounded many times throughout the holiday.

Special foods are symbolic of the blessings hoped for in the New Year, such as the slice of apple dipped in honey symbolizing the wish for a sweet year. The special prayer of Tashlich is recited, casting away sin, traditionally said near a body of water, reflecting the promise in Micah 7:19: "And You shall cast their sins into the depths of the sea."

The holiday culminates by lighting candles and prayers with a recitation of kiddush and blessings made on the challah. Believers go forth into the new year blessing each other with the wish: "Leshanah tovah tikateiv veteichateim," "May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year."

For information about Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur activities and services:

Temple Beth Torah
42000 Paseo Padre Pkwy., Fremont
(510) 656-7141
www.bethtorah-fremont.org

Congregation Shir Ami
4529 Malabar Avenue, Castro Valley
(510) 537-1787
http://www.congshirami.org

Chabad of Fremont
Locations vary
(510) 300-4090
http://www.chabadfremont.com

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