By Neil Schulman
Long Branch — Wednesday, the Jewish High Holy Days began with Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. The children of Congregation Brothers of Israel got together last week to review the meaning of the holiday.
Rabbi Nasanayl Braun also reviewed how to blow the shofar, a special musical instrument made of an animal’s horn sounded during this time of year.
In some morning services beginning a month before Rosh Hashana, the shofar is sounded, to serve as a call to teshuvah, repentance.
Rosh Hashana literally translates as “head of the
year,” and the holiday is called the Jewish New Year. It’s also referred to by other Hebrew names: Yom Hazikaron, the Day of
Remembrance, and Yom Hadin, the Day of Judgement. The latter name is because according toJewish belief, the period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (which begins on the evening of Sept. 29 this year) is when the Lord reviews people’s deeds from the last year and judges them.
Rosh Hashana begins Wednesday evening, Sept. 20, and runs through Sept. 22.
There are many customs associated with the holiday. In addition to sounding the shofar, it is customary to eat apples and honey, to symbolize hopes for a sweet year to come.