THE two most important Jewish religious holidays are Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, which are celebrated in Jewish synagogues over the world.
Prayers in the synagogue on Rosh Hashanah deal primarily with the life and happiness of individuals and with the peace of mankind.
Candles are lit so that the New Year begins with light and joy, and greeting cards are sent with the traditional Rosh Hashanah greeting: “Le Shanah Tovah Tikatevu”, which translates to “May you be inscribed for a good year”.
One of the most impressive portions of the Rosh Hashanah services is the blowing of the ram’s horn – the Shofar. The Shofar is a natural wind instrument and one of the oldest instruments known.
Rosh Hashanah is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. This name is somewhat deceptive, because there is little similarity between Rosh Hashanah, one of the holiest days of the year, and the Christian New Year. The one important similarity however is that Christians use the New Year as a time to plan a better life, to make “resolutions”. Likewise, the Jewish New Year is a time to do introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the new year.