Rosh ha-Shanah

Rosh ha-Shanah hə-shäˈnə [key] [Heb.,=head of the year], the Jewish New Year, also known as the Feast of the Trumpets. It is observed on the first day of the seventh month, Tishri, occurring usually in September. Rosh ha-Shanah is held in great reverence as the Day of Judgment (Yom ha-Din), the beginning of the 10-day period concluding with Yom Kippur and known as the “Days of Awe,” during which, according to tradition, all the people of the earth pass before the Lord and are marked in the “Book of Life” or in the “Book of Death.” A distinguishing feature of the New Year is the blowing of the shofar (a ram's horn), which summons Jews to penitential observance. Orthodox and Conservative Jews celebrate Rosh ha-Shanah for two days; most Reform congregations celebrate the first day.

See L. Jacobs, A Guide to Rosh ha-Shanah (1969).

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