Rosh Hashanah: the beginning of a new year

The evening of Oct. 2, 2016 marks the New Year on the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah, which translates to “head of the year,” commemorates the beginning of the world and creation of humanity. It is a two-day long celebration filled with food, music, and faith. Senior Zoe Kroot said, “It’s all about being happy, reflecting on the past year, and being with the ones you love most celebrating our religion and faith.”

The shofar, an ancient musical instrument made from a ram’s horn, is blown each morning of the month before Rosh Hashanah with the intention of awakening and reminding listeners of the impending judgment. In preparation for the “day of judgment,” followers of Judaism repent for their sins before sealing their fate in one of two books: the Book of Life for the righteous or the Book of Death for the wicked. Those who do not fall in either category of Life or Death must perform “teshuvah” or repentance until Yom Kippur.

The start of the Jewish New Year, much like that of the modern New Year, commemorates new beginnings in the days to come. Junior Isabel Estes celebrates Rosh Hashanah by telling friends and family “Lashana Tova.” She said it means, “‘May you be written down in the book of life for a good year’, or basically just Happy New Year!” Kroot also shared a bit about what she does on this special day. “We all go to my grandparents house and have a huge dinner to celebrate the new year.”

This holiday is a very exciting time for those who celebrate Jewish culture and faith.