Happy Rosh Hashanah!
For those of us who only know Rosh Hashanah as a holiday in our Outlook calendars, here’s a brief intro:
Rosh Hashanah, literally “Head of the year,” is a Jewish holiday and the first of the High Holidays which are days specifically set aside to focus on repentance that conclude with the holiday of Yom Kippur. It is observed as a day of rest. During the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, or the second if the first falls on Shabbat, it is customary to observe the practice of tashlikh in which prayers are recited near natural flowing water, and one’s sins are symbolically cast into the water. Many also have the custom to throw bread or pebbles into the water, to symbolize the “casting off” of sins.
The traditional Hebrew greeting on Rosh Hashanah is shana tova for “[a] good year”, or shana tova umetukah for “[a] good and sweet year.” Because Jews and the world are being judged by God for the coming year, a longer greeting translates as “may you be written and sealed for a good year” (ketiva ve-chatima tovah).
Shana Tova to all my Jewish patients and their families, friends and wider communities. Let us all join together in the prayer that this new year will be a good and sweet one.