Your Jewish Friend Wants You to Know about Rosh HaShana
Start writing a post

13 Things Your Jewish Friend Wants You To Know About Rosh HaShana

A quick list to help you be a little more knowledgeable.

Tanner Mardis via Unspash

My name is Jesse, and I'm Jewish. Here's what your Jewish friend wants you to know about Rosh HaShana, the upcoming Jewish new year.

1. As I said, it's the Jewish new year and it has a flexible date.

Like the rest of the Jewish calendar, it moves around relative to the Gregorian calendar. It starts the night of September 9th this year.

2. The spelling is sort-of standardized in English.

Rosh HaShana isn't as bad as Channukkah about this, but there are a couple variants.

3. Round challahs are traditional. 

The normally linear bread is made round to symbolize the circular nature of the year.

4. Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur are the High Holidays.

Considered some of the holiest days of the year, Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur are what we're talking about when we say High Holidays. Yom Kippur is 10 days after Rosh HaShana.

5. Some people have fish heads at the table.

They represent the head of the year. I think it's gross.

6. It starts at night.

Like all Jewish holidays.

7. We use a ram's horns as part of a ritual.

We don't normally do a call to pray, but during the high holidays we have shofars (cleaned horns) which we use as part of the service.

8. The appropriate way of well-wishing is simple, but there are options.

"Chag Sameach" works for any Jewish holiday (Happy holiday, basically) or Happy Rosh HaShana is fine. "Shana Tova," which means good year, also works.

9. It's a feasting holiday.

If you know anything about Jewish holidays, this is not a surprise. We eat apples and honey (among other sweet foods) for a sweet new year.

10. Rosh HaShana is Hebrew for "Head Of The Year."

11. It's a time of reflection/forgiveness.

Before Yom Kippur, but particularly between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, Jews ask forgiveness from each to go into the new year on a clean slate.

12. Many of us literally throw our sins away.

In a ceremony called Tashlich (spelling varies), bits of bread are tossed into the water while prayers are said. The idea is that the sins are carried away with the bread.

13. Many Jews go to synagogue or don't work on the High Holidays, even if they're not otherwise religious. 

Given the importance of the High Holidays, many otherwise non-observant Jews will refrain from work and/or attend services.

There's more to the holiday of course, but those are just some quick tips from your local neighborhood Semite!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Impact Makers: Melanie Byrd

Find out how this TikTok star gets women excited about science!

Impact Makers: Melanie Byrd

How it all began

Keep Reading... Show less

22 Songs To Use For Your Next GoPro Video

Play one of these songs in the background for the perfect vacation vibes.


We've all seen a Jay Alvarez travel video and wondered two things: How can I live that lifestyle and how does he choose which song to use for his videos?

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Roleplay Plots You Haven't Thought Of Yet

Stuck on ideas for a roleplay? Here you go!

13 Roleplay Plots You Haven't Thought Of Yet

One thing that many creators know is that fun to have characters and different universes to work with but what's the point if you have nothing to do with them? Many people turn to roleplay as a fun way to use characters, whether they're original or from a fandom. It'd a fun escape for many people but what happens when you run out of ideas to do? It's a terrible spot to be in. So here are a few different role play plot ideas.

Keep Reading... Show less

Deep in the Heart of Texas

A Texan's responsibilities when introducing an out-of-stater to Texas culture.


While in college, you are bound to be friends with at least one person who is not from Texas. Now Texas is a culture of its own, and it is up to you to help introduce them to some good ole Texas traditions during their time here. Show your friends that famous Southern hospitality!

Keep Reading... Show less

Marching Through March

Some appreciation for the month of March.


I love the entire year. Well, for the most part. I'm not a big fan of Winter, but even then, every month has something that's pretty great. November? Thanksgiving. December? Winter Holidays. January? New Year's. February? Valentine's and Single Awareness Day. May? Existential dread during finals. But for me, March has always been my favorite month of the year, and for good reason.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments