But for everyone else, the process requires some cerebration. An event with many guests will require a well coordinated and thought out array of apples and honey. Many people may not know what Rosh Hashanah really is.
The first day of Tishrei marks Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. On this day, Jewish people observe the first of the High Holy Days. Rosh Hashanah is also a time that Jews celebrate G-d’s creation of the world and embark on personal paths of repentance. The holiday is deeply meaningful and a perfect time for parents to teach their children about Jewish customs. One of the best ways to celebrate and learn about Rosh Hashanah is through crafts inspired by the holiday.
We start out the holiday by saying prayers. While I know certain Hebrew phrases, I am by no means an expert at saying prayers and I have a limited amount of ability in speaking in Hebrew. Still, I listen to my mother read the prayers from her Siddur (prayer book) in Hebrew every year and I follow along in English. You see, my mother went to Hebrew school for many years as a child and learned how to read the Hebrew alphabet.
While I do believe that God has a hand in our destiny, I also believe that we were given free choice about how – and possibly when – we create that destiny. In other words, I believe that the choices we make get us to that destiny. I also believe we are cocreators of our lives, the combination of our thoughts, feelings and actions manifesting the things we experience day to day. That said, we are all cocreating, and sometimes – maybe more often than we would like – our manifestations collide creating a fair amount of chaos. In any case, we constantly experience a combination of destiny or fate and conscious or subconscious creation and cocreation.
Pomegranate is a favoured fruit for the New Year. On the second night of Rosh Hashanah, a “new fruit” is eaten -ie a fruit that has recently come into season but no one round the table has yet had the opportunity to eat. A pomegranate is often used as this new fruit. In the Bible, the Land of Israel is praised for its pomegranates. It is also said that this fruit contains 613 seeds, just as there are 613 mitzvot (commandments). Another reason given for blessing and eating pomegranate, is the desire that good deeds in the ensuing year, will be as plentiful as the seeds of the pomegranate.
The easiest way to choose a date is by using a simple process of elimination. Start with the season you want to be married in. At present, summer is the most popular time for weddings in America. Over a third of all ceremonies are scheduled during the summer months, about half of those in the month of June. Because of its equable weather and the many options it offers couples, June will probably always be the most popular month for nuptials.
Yom Kippur (September 28, this year) is when Jewish people celebrate the Day of Atonement. It is fitting to continue with the “Happy New Year” or “Shana Tova” greeting all the way through Yom Kippur as this whole period is considered the start of the new year. You could also wish your Jewish friends a “Good Signing” (in the Book of Life) or the Hebrew equivalent “Hatima Tova,” but it is more apprpriate to use that only for greeting the more orthodox of your Jewish friends. They are the ones most likely to use such a greeting. Given Yom Kippur is a fast day, you could also wish your Jewish friends an “Easy Fast” or the Hebrew equivalent “Tzom Kal.” Gifts are not given for Yom Kippur.
You can also test the shofar for its sound quality before purchasing it. If possible bring a friend along or ask the dealer to provide you a demonstration.
Honey dishes are a very popular gift. They come an a large variety of designs and materials. Judaica designers have in recent years, been inspired to create stylish and contemporary honey dishes which can also be used for other foods the rest of the year.