Rosh Hashana: The New Year

Rosh Hashana Jewish Holiday InformationServing as the Head of the Year, The Day of Judgment and The Day of Remembrance, Rosh Hashana is a Jewish Holiday for reflecting upon the past year, and looking forward to the blessings of the new year to come. The Jewish holiday Rosh Hashana leads to the Ten Days of Penitence culminating on Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement. Rosh Hashana is the Day of Judgment where the inhabitants of the world come before G-d to be examined, as sheep pass for examination before the Sheppard. According to the Talmud, three books are opened on this Jewish holiday. The book of life is where the names of the righteous are inscribed, the names of the wicked are removed from the book of the living, and those in middle class are allowed ten days to repent and become righteous until the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur.

One of the most important observances of Rosh Hashana in the synagogue is the blowing of the shofar – a ram’s horn blown like a trumpet. The sounds of the shofar on the Jewish holiday are a call to repentance. The common Jewish holiday greeting on Rosh Hashana is “L’shanah tovah,” which is a shortening of the phrase “May you be inscribed for a good year.” In addition to the sounds of the shofar and greetings for a “sweet new year,” there are many traditional Jewish holiday dishes served on Rosh Hashana. The most popular is the combination of apples and honey, reminding people to heave a sweet new year, and sometimes challah bread, circular in shape to celebrate the cycle of year, and dipped in honey as opposed to its usual dipping in salt. Other traditional Jewish holiday foods include fish heads, tongue and other meat from the head of a animal to symbolize The Head of Year as well as leeks, spinach and the very sweet taste of pomegranates.

Ten Days of Penitence

So you’re pretty sure you fall into the middle ground, not wicked, although maybe had a flub once or twice in the year. It’s time for the Ten Days of Penitence. A good way to start reflecting on the Jewish holiday is by listing the sins you’ve committed throughout the year on a piece of paper. A nice place to start would be by referring to the Ten Commandments and seeing which ones you haven’t completely adhered to. There are two types of sins to repent for on the Jewish holiday: sins against G-d and sins against man. For sins against G-d, you pray to G-d directly and confess your sins and promise not to repeat them. For sins against man, you must first make amends to the person you’ve wronged before repenting to G-d. Then, you can take your “sin sheet” and cast it into a local river, ocean or lake and have them literally washed away on the Jewish holiday. You can substitute the paper for bread for an eco-friendly approach to penitence on the Jewish holiday.

The Sins of JDate

Looking for wrongs committed on JDate to repent for over the Jewish holiday? These are a list of popular sins committed by JDaters:

  1. Old photos: Are any of your pictures scanned 35mm prints from the days of the Clinton Administration? That’s a big JDate no-no.
  2. Sig-o shots: Do any of your photos contain a pic of your former significant other just to show what you’re “accustomed to?” Remove them ASAP.
  3. Manhattan adjacent: A slight change in the zip code to put you on the other side of the tracks looks good on paper, but is a lie nonetheless!
  4. First date laundry-listing: It’s tempting, but sinful to talk about other JDates you’ve been on during the first date with a new beau.
  5. Nobody’s home: You’ve received an email from somebody who isn’t your type and failed to return a polite response. Shame!
  6. Bad date manners: Ever ordered the most expensive thing on the menu? Had too much pinot grigio? Talked about yourself the whole time? Repent.
  7. Unexpected guests: Inviting a friend to stake out your date before you arrive or inviting an extra party to dinner can make for an uncomfortable situation. Next time, be more careful in the pre-date vetting process.
  8. Pre-party syndrome: Going to happy hour before the date can calm the nerves, but makes for a sloshy first impression.
  9. The stand-up: Cancelling a date without 48 hours prior notice is unforgivable. Unless of course, one reschedules and picks up the tab on the next date.
  10. Spam flirter: Canvassing your entire zip code with flirts is a sin, no matter how you slice it.